We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Researching Black Communities

A Methodological Guide

James S. Jackson

Publication Year: 2012

Experts from a range of disciplines offer practical advice for conducting social science research in racial and ethnic minority populations. Readers will learn how to choose appropriate methods—longitudinal studies, national surveys, quantitative analysis, personal interviews, and other qualitative approaches—and how best to employ them for research on specific demographic groups. The volume opens with a brief introduction to the difficulty of defining a population and designing a research program, then moves to illustrative examples drawn from the contributors' own studies of blacks in the United States, the Caribbean, and South Africa. Case studies cover research on the media, mental health, churches, work, marital relationships, education, and family roles.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (38.5 KB)
pp. i-iv

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (37.6 KB)
pp. v-vii

This book is dedicated to professionals and students conducting empirical research on black populations. The idea for this book on methodological issues and lessons learned grew over the last three decades as a part of our attempts to develop conceptually and methodologically sound studies of black populations. Over this period we have conducted 30 national,...


pdf iconDownload PDF (32.1 KB)
pp. ix-xi

Part I: Theoretical Issues: Race, Ethnicity, Culture, Gender, Class, and Intersectionality

read more

1. Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Studies of Black Populations

pdf iconDownload PDF (123.2 KB)
pp. 3-30

Recent census data indicate that blacks are the second largest racial group in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2007). The black population is also increasingly diverse, with a rising middle class and a surge in the number of black immigrants coming to this country since 1965. Over the past two decades, there have been noticeable efforts by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)...

read more

2. Researching “Black” Educational Experiences and Outcomes: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.7 KB)
pp. 31-59

In recent years, Black student achievement in the United States has garnered substantial attention. In particular, there has been sustained focus on the persistence of racial gaps in educational outcomes and on why Black students are underperforming in school. In analyzing how and why the educational experiences and outcomes of Blacks differ from...

read more

3. Crowded Out? The Racial Composition of American Occupations

pdf iconDownload PDF (112.0 KB)
pp. 60-78

Over 35 years ago, Barbara Bergmann (1971) hypothesized that labor market discrimination against black males is manifest in a “crowding” effect, which results in lower earnings.White employers’ refusal to hire blacks in certain occupations forces them to cluster and creates crowding in less desirable jobs, reinforcing a condition of lower earnings. ...

read more

4. Aging, Physical Health, and Work and Family Role Changes among African American Women: Strategies for Conducting Life-Course Research with African American Women

pdf iconDownload PDF (80.8 KB)
pp. 79-93

The status of African American women’s physical health, work, and family life has improved over that of prior generations of African American women (Leigh and Lindquist 1998). But the quality of their physical health, work, and family life has yet to achieve parity with White women’s (Grayson et al. 2001). A gender and life-course perspective...

Part II: Research with U.S. and International Populations Involving Children, Couples, and Women

read more

5. Research with High-Risk African American Infants and Children: Insights from a Longitudinal Study

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.5 KB)
pp. 97-113

This chapter examines research issues of speci‹c relevance in studying African American infants and children born to young mothers residing in impoverished urban neighborhoods. It draws on experiences gained in conducting a longitudinal study following a small sample of African American infants from birth through age 19...

read more

6. Studying Marital Relationships

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.3 KB)
pp. 114-134

In this chapter we will review our experiences in conducting a large-scale project of the progressive development of marriage during the early years. The original study began with a representative sample of newly married African American couples (N = 199) and white couples (N = 174) who had filed for marriage licenses in the spring of 1986 in Wayne County, Michigan. ...

read more

7. Conducting Stress Research in Black Communities Abroad: Suggestions and Methodological Strategies for South African Studies

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.9 KB)
pp. 135-148

Research on life stress can make a valuable contribution to the field of mental health in South Africa. Blacks1 in South Africa have borne a disproportionate share of hardship due to the history of racially oppressive policies in that country. Apartheid has been brought to an of‹cial end. However, the residual effects of apartheid are clearly re›ected in the current...

read more

8. Methodological Considerations in the Study of Work and Occupations: The Case of Domestic Workers in New York City

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.9 KB)
pp. 149-167

One of the best examples of the gendered division of labor—the degree to which some tasks in a society are assigned based on one’s sex—is domestic labor. Viewed primarily as belonging to the female domain, domestic work has increasingly become associated with low-wage work for immigrant women from the developing world. Recent scholarship on...

Part III: Strategies for Obtaining National Data with African Americans, Caribbean Blacks, and Black Churches

read more

9. The National Survey of American Life: Innovations in Research with Ethnically Diverse Black Samples

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.1 KB)
pp. 171-189

The National Survey of American Life (NSAL) is part of the National Institute ofMental Health’s (NIMH) Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) initiative that included three major nationally representative studies—the NSAL, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), and the National Latino and Asian American Study...

read more

10. Conducting Quantitative Research with African American and Caribbean Black Adult and Adolescent Populations: Strategies for Training Interviewers from Experiences with the National Survey of American Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (87.5 KB)
pp. 190-206

In this chapter we describe a process to successfully incorporate cultural traditions, appropriate responsiveness, and adaptations in communication style for interviewer training for data collections within Black communities. Examples are offered from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL) to provide guidance for improving participation rates of...

read more

11. Adjusting for and Predicting Nonresponse in a Panel Survey of African Americans

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.4 KB)
pp. 207-219

There is no better method for determining the nature and direction of the causal flow than the observation of changes over time. No cross-sectional study can provide us with comparable information. Yet, the process of conducting longitudinal research presents a unique set of challenges. Two of these are the difficulties of maintaining a representative sample...

read more

12. Research with Black Churches: Lessons Learned from the Black Church Family Project

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.5 KB)
pp. 120-234

Black churches are pivotal institutions in the lives of African Americans (Mattis and Jagers 2001; Taylor, Lincoln, and Chatters 2005). They have been embedded in the social, economic, political, health, and educational fabric of Black communities since the establishment of the first Black church in the eighteenth century (Billingsley 1999). ...

Part IV | Research Involving Structural Issues Focused on Families, the Mental Health System, and the Media

read more

13. A Certain Kind of Vision: Revealing Structure, Process, and Meaning in African American Families

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.4 KB)
pp. 237-253

The methodological strategies that one uses reflect not only a desire to observe a specfic unit, behavior, or process but also a settling on what one wants to reveal. Collectively, in our work there has been urgency about capturing a certain “angle of vision” that reveals nuances, variations, and the everyday experience and practice of African...

read more

14. Methods for the Study of Mental Health in African American Populations

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.1 KB)
pp. 254-269

Everyone concerned with the well-being of African American populations must attend to African American mental health. Mental health forms the basis for a personal sense of happiness and feeling of satisfaction. It facilitates successful performance of personally valued tasks and attainment of important personal goals (U.S. Department of Health...

read more

15. Using Quantitative Methods to Study the Impact of Television Exposure on the Social and Emotional Development of African American Children and Adolescents

pdf iconDownload PDF (95.5 KB)
pp. 270-288

Over the past few decades, television has emerged as a powerful agent of socialization, providing value systems, illustrating group dynamics, and modeling examples of appropriate and inappropriate behavior (Berry 1998; Stroman 1991). Its portrayals have not always been kind to African Americans, however, first excluding them, then stereotyping and segregating them. ...

read more

16. Regarding Black Audiences: Qualitative Approaches to Studying Black Media Consumption

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.2 KB)
pp. 289-307

Many scholars and social commentators have turned a critical eye toward representations of African Americans and racial issues across many genres, including news and political advertising (e.g., Dixon and Linz 2000; Entman 2000; Gilens 1999;Mendleberg 2001;Valentino 1999) and sports, advertising, and entertainment media (e.g., Dates and Barlow 1990; Gray 1995; Riggs 1991). ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (66.0 KB)
pp. 309-318


pdf iconDownload PDF (27.0 KB)
pp. 319-321

E-ISBN-13: 9780472026180
E-ISBN-10: 0472026186
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472117505
Print-ISBN-10: 0472117505

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 11 Tables, 12 Figures
Publication Year: 2012