Social Support in Stepfamily Worlds
Part Two: Meet the Families
← 22 | 23 → • PART TWO •
Meet the Families
This section provides a detailed description of the relational culture of support between stepfathers and their stepsons in six stepfamily systems. Using case study as the form and ethnography as the lens invites a crisp and nuanced image of support in stepfamily life. Each chapter follows a similar outline of introducing the family, examining the role of the stepfather, considering family attitudes and actions, and describing the culture of support. Despite the similarities in form, the content varies dramatically. This section demonstrates diverse approaches taken by stepfathers attempting to support their stepsons. Cases are written as engaging narratives that offer flavorful accounts of real characters that describe the culture of support for each family in light of relevant family history and structural details. Before describing each individual family, it may prove useful to have some background about all the families.
Characteristics of Participating Families
The sample of participating families was homogeneous in terms of geography, ethnicity, income, and marital status. All stepfathers were rural, Caucasian, middle class, and married. Another commonality to all stepfathers in this study was that they all fathered biological children before becoming stepfathers to their 10–14-year-old stepsons in this study. Stepfathers ranged in age from 31 to 53. In all the homes, there were either two or three children present. Some families included both biologically related children as well as step-children whereas others only included stepchildren. To help protect confidentiality...
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