Center Director Linda Burton, James B. Duke Professor of Sociology at Duke University, was a featured plenary speaker at the 2017 National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference on November 17, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. In her presentation, “When Ethnography Comes Home to Roost: Andre, the Life Course, and My Family’s Intervention,” Burton recounts the case study of 7-year-old Andre, a bi-racial respondent, whose family network she has followed in a 30-year ethnographic study of the family life course, race, and poverty in an isolated, small town in Pennsylvania. Burton chronicled how structural and contextual factors reached inside and moved through generations of Andre’s family and launched him on a pathway of childhood adultification characterized by a misappropriated racial identity.
“I was in the audience for your keynote address at the NCFR conference. Your story was touching, inspiring, and sobering. It illustrated the concepts such as colorism, race, family nationalism, and others in a very moving and powerful way; I would say that it was as effective as any presentation that I have seen at raising awareness of why color and race and what any one person or family can do matters. I have reflected on it time and again since the conference. Thank you for sharing this story in this way with those who were fortunate enough to attend your session at NCFR.”
Richard J. Bischoff, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn A. Newkirk Professor of Leadership in Child, Youth and Family Studies
Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
University of Nebraska-Lincoln