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The Privileged Married Americans
In Michigan, The New York Times highlights a story of two moms. Two moms seemingly the same if viewed from the day-care drop off, but if viewed from a closer angle, the differences might surprise you.
Jessica Schairer and Chris Faulkner have a lot in common, the Times reports. They are both “friendly, white women from modest Midwestern backgrounds who left for college with conventional hopes of marriage, motherhood and career. They both have children in elementary school. They pass their days in similar ways: juggling toddlers, coaching teachers and swapping small secrets that mark them as friends.”
This friendship that seems similar in so many ways, has a major difference in the family structure. Ms. Faulkner is married and their family lives on two paychecks. Ms. Schairer is raising her children by herself, with one paycheck. “I see Chris’s kids — they’re in swimming and karate and baseball and Boy Scouts, and it seems like it’s always her or her husband who’s able to make it there,” Ms. Schairer said. “That’s something I wish I could do for my kids. But number one, that stuff costs a lot of money and, two, I just don’t have the time.”
“It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.
About 41 percent of births in the United States occur outside marriage, up sharply from 17 percent three decades ago.
The New York Times reports, “Long concentrated among minorities, motherhood outside marriage now varies by class about as much as it does by race. It is growing fastest in the lower reaches of the white middle class — among women like Ms. Schairer who have some postsecondary schooling but no four-year degree.”
Read the full New York Times article.
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