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Title: Study of Female-Headed Households in the Rural Mid South, 1989-1991      
dateReleased:
02-22-2014
downloadURL: http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/01026
ID:
hdl:1902.1/01026
description:
This study builds on a one-year pilot project conducted in a single county in Northern Mississippi and funded by the Ford Foundation which examined the social factors underlying the formation, coping and survival strategies of female-headed households in the rural south. This study expands the pilot study to include four rural counties in the United States. It examines the lives of low-income female-headed households in these counties, including the support network of the participants, job opportunities available to them, their coping mechanisms, their relationships with men, the organization and administration of the local public welfare and social service delivery system, and the political and civic environment of a rural community. Participants were asked to describe aspects of the community in which they live, the state-supported services available to them, and the work opportunities available. Approximately 18-24 Black and White women heads of households in this study were selected from each of two counties in Mississippi and two counties in Tennessee. They were between 20 and 40 years of age, and of mixed socioeconomic backgrounds. Social service agency heads, fathers, school superintendents, and business leaders were also interviewed. Participants were located through local headstart programs, through schools, referrals from social service agencies, and through the par ticipants themselves. Data were collected through semi-structured, open ended life history interviews with the women, and extensive interviews with local political and civic leaders, managers and owners of local businesses, politicians, and welfare department directors and staff members. Variables assessed include family background, household composition, education, children, childcare, networks, religious organizations and activities, childbearing and goals and practices, employmen t, ways to supplement income, relationships, marital plans and values, fertility, health care, food and diet, housing, community and volunteer organizations, politics, income and income distribution, public aid/welfare department, race relations, and life events. A questionnaire was administered to the fathers assessing demographics, employment, family background, children, child support, extended family networks, marriage, religion, and the relationship with the child's mother. Social service agency heads were asked about the organizational structure of their jobs, how the agency was funded, the main problems in the community, the most important public and service organizations in the community, how effective their agency was in providing services to the community, how local businesses and industries respond to community needs, what they believed to be the most important cause of poverty in America, and they were asked typical community concern questions. The business leaders were asked to describe opportunities, obstacles, and prospects for different kinds of economic development in the county, the kind of labor force available and the skill level required, and their views on the problem of poverty in the county. School superintendents were asked about the special needs of the children from female headed households, about funds available for special programs, about teaching staff, mentors, drug problems in the schools, and receiving support from the school board members. Lastly, welfare department personnel were asked about the main problems in the community, how the local businesses and industries were responding to community needs, and if enough money was being spent on unemployment, housing, healthcare, and the general welfare of the community. The Murray Archive holds additional analogue materials for this study (audiotape and electronic text files of the interviews). If you would like to access this material, please apply to use the data. Audio Data Availability Note: This study contains audio data that have been digitized. There are 442 audio files available.
description:
Bonnie Thornton Dill, 2010, "Study of Female-Headed Households in the Rural Mid South, 1989-1991", http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/01026, Harvard Dataverse, V4
name:
Bonnie Thornton Dill
homePage: http://www.harvard.edu/
name:
Harvard University
ID:
SCR:011273
abbreviation:
DataVerse
homePage: http://thedata.org/
name:
Dataverse Network Project
ID:
SCR:001997