Scholarship Social Service
As I have matured as a student and a scholar it has become more clear to me that in today's society with all it's talk of multi-culturalism and melting pot rhetoric it is blatantly clear that much of the discourse regarding the social world is rooted in Euro-centric research and ideology. As such, I content that it is the role of the African American sociologist to shift the center of analysis from a European focus to one that is inclusive of all people represented in this society. This can only be achieved by giving voice to those whose experiences have been traditional marginalized in the discourse concerning the social world.
A fifteen-year-old girl finds out that she is pregnant. Although she and her boyfriend have been together since she was thirteen, she is afraid she will lose him if she tells him. She feels as if she has finally found someone to love. This man loves her more than the men in her family who sexually abused her did. He loves her more than her father who is never home. Despite her fear, and because of that love, she tells him.
He is seventeen and afraid of fatherhood. After all, he never had a father. What was he going to be able to impart to the new life he had created? How would he be able to teach a daughter how to demand respect from a man when he was not certain if respected women? How would he teach manhood to a son when he was still a boy himself? These questions and more raged through his head. All of Nevertheless, he knew what he must do. He would marry her After all, he did love her or so he thought and besides it was the right thing to do.
This couple bore a son born with mental and physically disabilities. They became married at the age of sixteen and eighteen. One year later, they had a second child. The girl quit high school in ninth grade and the boy joined the military. However, the pressures of life began to weigh heavily on them and the both turned to drug use. The military would have none of that and the boy was demoted and stopped using drugs. Unfortunately, with the pressures of being a wife and mother weighing on her restless soul, the girl was unable to stop and her use turned into a crippling addiction. After thirteen years of marriage the boy and girl, know man and woman, divorced. Their lives changed irreconcilably forever addiction.
Various aspects of this story play out everyday in families across the country. This story could be anyone's tale but it is specifically the story of my parents. I have seen and experienced first hand the detriment that issues of teen pregnancy, drug use, sexual abuse and disability can have not, only on society as a whole but on individual families. It has been this exposure that has fueled my intellectual growth and strengthened my desire to add to the much-needed discourse of the African American family in Black sociology. Sociology has allowed me to view my life experiences through a critical scholarly lens. This discipline...