Family structure is one of the most important things that defines and characterizes a culture. Just like any other cultural factors, family structure may vary greatly or minimally from one culture to another. The objective of this paper is to explore on the different characteristics and distinguishing factors that define the Black American Culture in terms of their family structure or family support system. The family is the most basic unit of a government or society and there are various forms of family. There are various studies that suggest that a typical black American family can be highly associated with single-parent homes, usually dominated by black women in a culture often referred to as black matriarchy. In the same manner, there are also studies that suggest otherwise. With the findings in this paper, the readers will be able to clearly identify the current state of the black American culture’s family structure and by comparing the qualitative findings in this research, the readers can also establish a personalized idea on whether the black American culture’s family structure have experienced changes over the past decades. The authors of this research plans to accomplish this by conducting a qualitative ethnographic study focusing on a group of at least 5 randomly selected black American families with a minimum size of three members who have resided in the continental United States for at least 3 or more years. The sample population will be subjected to various qualitative research-oriented procedures such as taped interviews, group discussions, and answering questionnaires.
The Black Americans
Evidently speaking, the black American culture is currently one of the most dominant cultural groups in the continental United States, comprising approximately 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population. This particular racial group has also one of the richest, most controversial, and longest cultural histories in the U.S. According to some cultural historical recounts, the Black Americans used to and actually continues to be discriminated because of their involvement in the slave trade during the Atlantic Slave Trade era—an era which stated in the 16th century roughly 400 years ago and ended in the 19th century, roughly 100 to 200 years ago. Black Americans have a largely different family structure when compared to that of a typical Native American and up until now, there are still some cultural research gaps surrounding this particular area in this particular group of population. There are a couple of theories that explain and support the nature of the African-American family structure. Some are based on historical economic activities, traditional mechanisms, and even political phenomena over the culture’s entire year of existence in the United States. Doing this research about Black Americans shall help readers, and future researchers understand more about the nature of Black Americans and how they normally behave at home and at a time when they are together with their other family members.
Observations and Interviews
Being a qualitative ethnographic research, the data gathering procedures of this paper will be focused mainly on the conduction of observations and interviews. The allotted time for the data gathering procedure phase of this paper, specifically the observation phase is 1-2 weeks months. This is because the researchers will have to live with a subject Black American family’s house for at least a week so that they can observe how each family member behaves inside the house when they are living with all other members of the family. Within that one week of stay inside a subject’s house, the research team member would also conduct collective interviews with all the members of the family; and individual interviews with one member of the family. This way, the data gathering procedure will not only be specific but also be time-bound. The research team will have enough time to understand what is going on inside the research participant’s home and to ask more pertinent question given their one month of stay inside their subject’s house.