My research paper explores the issue of fatherlessness in American society. For the sake of my research problem, we defined fatherlessness using Johnson’s definition. According to Johnson, fatherliness refers to the youth whose biological fathers are usually absent or youth who are without regular paternal oversight from a nurturing adult male (2010). This implies that father figure‘s role can be formed by step dads, bigger brothers, or in some cases. David Blankenhorn (19950, p. 5.) wrote that the “U.S. is becoming an increasingly fatherless society. A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with his or her father. Today an American child can reasonably expect not to. Fatherlessness is now approaching a rough parity with fatherhood as a defining feature of American childhood. Because of this reality, I decided on an action item that would distance from research and give me the opportunity to study fatherlessness as represented in the real world. In order to have an away from statistics feel, I chose a fishbowl discussion to hear different views on fatherlessness.
I first emailed a randomly selected mail list for a fishbowl discussion. The fishbowl discussion was held on April 22end, 2012 at School of Government room 210 at 7.00pm. The discussion was filmed so that it could be viewed by a larger section of the society. I emailed around fifty people using alphabetical order. I wanted to have a cross section of Principia campus. Also, I was intending to have a diverse group of participants so I intentionally picked some international students from different countries. Out of the fifty students I emailed at a batch of ten students per email, only ten responded on the affirmative. Out of the ten that responded only six of them showed for the fishbowl discussion. There was one white American student ( woman), One Australian student ( male), one Tanzanian student, and 2 Kenyan males and one Kenyan woman student. We also had one student film the conversation. She was a passive participant. The discussion went for approximately forty five minutes.
First, I defined the problem of fatherlessness and laid out the research using my paper as reference. Then, I asked questions regarding fatherlessness. The questions I asked are listed below:
- What are the causes of fatherlessness?
- What are some common effects of fatherlessness on adolescents? Are these effects uniform between boys and girls. If they are different how?
- How can the problem of fatherlessness be solved in the society?
Every panelist had the opportunity to talk about their views on the table and ask questions on the topic. After forty five minutes of discussion, the panelist came to a consensus that fatherlessness was undeniably a societal problem that needed to be addressed. However, the major source of fatherlessness is economic factors. This is the reason fatherlessness is an acute problem in low income neighborhood that it is in upper neighborhood. Solving the problem of fatherlessness requires a mechanism that promotes fatherhood as a societal institution that does not need money to be felt. In addition, proper sex education can teach the youth to keep off premarital sex so that they can abstain from irresponsible sexual behaviors.
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