CCF’s annual “Unconventional Wisdom” is a collection of member submissions and recent briefing papers prepared for the Council. Although Unconventional Wisdom does not include the publications of all those represented here, this document provides the contact information for members for readers to contact them directly.
The current Unconventional Wisdom is a survey of recent family research and clinical findings prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families’ 14th Anniversary Conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, April 8 and 9, 2011.
Our 14th anniversary conference, TIPPING POINT? WHEN MINORITY FAMILIES BECOME THE MAJORITY: How Does it Change Our Theory and Practice? will detail some of the latest research and clinical findings on multiracial identities, reshaping of racial boundaries in relationships, ethnic and class perspectives on parenting, transitions to adulthood, paid and unpaid work, and sexual diversity. Consider how much our family landscape is changing:
• Last year, for the first time, births to “minorities” exceeded births to non-Hispanic whites. Four states — California, Texas, Hawaii, and New Mexico – already have a “majority minority” population, meaning that minorities accounted for more than 50 percent of the population.
• Among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000, making biracial and multiracial individuals the fastest growing youth group in the country.
• Today, 36.7 million of the nation’s population (12 percent) are foreign-born, and another 33 million (11 percent) are native-born with at least one foreign-born parent. This means one in five people is either a first or second generation U.S. resident.
• Meanwhile, among all Americans, non-Hispanic whites as well as minorities, the chance of experiencing a major loss of income or out-of-pocket medical expense above what you can cover in savings increased by a third between 1985 and 2007, and may have grown by as much as 50 percent once we take into account the ongoing impact of this recession. The gap between lower- and higher-income Americans has been widening, leading to greater inequality in income, housing security, access to higher education and even the chances of marrying and the risk of divorce.
This issue of “Unconventional Wisdom” briefly summarizes a few of the findings CCF researchers and practitioners are studying about the way this racial, ethnic, and class diversity is playing out in family strategies, parenting, child outcomes, sexuality, and other intimate relations. We asked conference participants as well as other scholars and clinicians to send in short descriptions of some of their recent research findings, practical experiences, clinical observations about emerging family trends and issues, new interventions to help families, and other topics.