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Family structure, Afro-Euro inequality and economic justice

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The dramatic increase in the fraction of all Afro-American families headed by single women accounts for approximately two-fifths of the Afro-Euro family income gap. Examines the empirical objections to the conclusion that family structure is a major factor behind ethnic inequality and found to be largely without merit. Also critically examines the more normative and more important objection that the family structure argument undercuts the struggle to achieve economic justice for Afro-Americans. Argues that an emphasis on family structure does not absolve society of responsibility for inequality, nor does it imply that government activism is futile. The family structure argument recasts but does not negate the struggle for economic justice for Afro-Americans.
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Keywords: Black people; Discrimination; Income; Inequality; Labour market

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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