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Keywords:

  • Couples;
  • Gender;
  • Power;
  • African American;
  • Black;
  • Culture

When race and gender intersect, understanding gendered power may be complicated. The authors first describe the historical context that serves as important background for understanding gender and power in heterosexual African American relationships. Then they show how family solidarity in the face of social injustices often overrides gender equality as a goal for middle class African American couples with young children. The findings illustrate pragmatic equality within couple relationships and the willful suspension of gender roles for the well-being of the family as a whole. However, gendered power impacts couples in a variety of ways. Sometimes a woman's fear that the man might leave, for example, diminished her power in the relationship. Often a woman accommodated a man's greater power in the family because of her perception that he was often denied power in the larger society. Societal discrimination of women was less visible to couples. Implications for practice are provided.

RESUMEN

En la intersección entre raza y género, comprender el poder de género puede ser complicado. Los autores primero describen el contexto histórico que sirve como un antecedente importante para comprender género y poder en las relaciones de heterosexuales afro-americanos. Luego muestran cómo la solidaridad familiar ante las injusticias sociales suele invalidar la igualdad de género como un objetivo de las parejas afro-americanas de clase media con niños pequeños. Los resultados ilustran igualdad pragmática dentro de las relaciones de pareja y la suspensión voluntaria de los roles de género por el bienestar de la familia como un todo. Sin embargo, el poder de género tiene varios modos de influir sobre las parejas: a veces el miedo de una mujer de que se vaya el hombre, por ejemplo, disminuye su poder en la relación; a menudo las mujeres dejan que el hombre tenga mayor poder en la familia por su percepción de que a menudo se le ha negado a él una posición de poder en la sociedad a mayor escala. La discriminación social de las mujeres fue menos visible para las parejas. Se aportan implicaciones para la práctica. Palabras clave: parejas, género, poder, afro-americano, negro, cultura

When race and gender intersect, understanding gendered power may be complicated. The authors first describe the historical context that serves as important background for understanding gender and power in heterosexual African American relationships. Then they show how family solidarity in the face of social injustices often overrides gender equality as a goal for middle class African American couples with young children. The findings illustrate pragmatic equality within couple relationships and the willful suspension of gender roles for the well-being of the family as a whole. However,gendered power impacts couples in a variety of ways. Sometimes a woman's fear that the man might leave, for example, diminished her power in the relationship. Often women accommodated a man's greater power in the family because of her perception that he was often denied power in the larger society. Societal discrimination of women was less visible to couples. Implications for practice are provided. inline image couples, gender, power, African American, Black, culture

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