All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community - Study Guide Chapter 8: Conclusion Summary & Analysis

Carol B. Stack
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While many stereotypes, believed even by serious academics, suggest that the behaviors common among the black urban poor are self-destructive and conducive to continued impoverishment, this study has shown that these behaviors are actually creative adaptations to desperate economic circumstances. The complex system of swapping for example is a way of distributing scarce resources in such a way as to ensure that the most needy at any given time are taken care of. By giving one's resources to another in his time of need, that person is thereby obligated to reciprocate in the future. Likewise, unstable living arrangements are a response and adaptation to unstable economic circumstances.

Many writers who have studied the problem of black poverty have concluded that the way to alleviate it is to reform the existing welfare programs, increase funding, and add programs of a similar kind. However, these...

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This section contains 261 words
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Buy the All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community Study Guide
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