Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All Our Kin: Strategies For Survival In A Black Community” as Want to Read:
All Our Kin: Strategies For Survival In A Black Community
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All Our Kin: Strategies For Survival In A Black Community

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  283 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
"This landmark study debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. Here is the chronicle of a young white woman’s sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto comm"
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 4th 1983 by Basic Books (first published November 30th 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All Our Kin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All Our Kin

In Search of Respect by Philippe BourgoisThe Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne FadimanNisa by Marjorie ShostakShamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man by Michael T. TaussigWitchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande by E.E. Evans-Pritchard
Good Ethnography
7th out of 92 books — 49 voters
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm XThe Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du BoisBuck by M.K. AsanteThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
best books on african american studies
23rd out of 109 books — 35 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 593)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jennifer Heise
Jan 30, 2015 Jennifer Heise rated it it was amazing
I read this for a sociology class when I was in my teens, and while I wasn't surprised by what I read here, I was moved. The instability of life in poverty-- and the punitive nature of the pre-Clinton asset restrictions for help-- is not a surprise; the idea that in poverty people end up relying on kin networks to survive isn't either. As an ethnography to introduce people to the notions of kin networks it's very helpful; but even for those who come from poverty or near-poverty, it's an eye-open ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it
Wow- this book single-handedly changed the way I view people based on their circumstances. Learning about inner-city poverty and the long lines of generational poverty is heartbreaking. It is a must read to learn about other people, and how multicultural aspects shape who a person is. Even 40 years later, we are still struggling with overcoming the same aspects Stack tried to conquer by doing this research. I feel more research needs to be done on this; specifically with no link to politics.
Jul 02, 2008 Sean rated it really liked it
This book was responsible for literally changing the way that I viewed the problems of the poor in our country, and consequently my world view in general.

It's amazing how powerful it can be to simply listen to the voices of those that are struggling rather than to speak on their behalf in ignorance of the real issues they are facing. This book gives a voice to those people and a perspective that is too often ignored.
Mar 30, 2016 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an interesting take on urban poverty. I have always been curious about how people cope with issues related to extreme perpetual poverty and this book did not disappoint. Researched in the mid-60s and published in 1974, this was the first study to analyze "the adaptive strategies, resourcefulness, and resilience of urban families under conditions of perpetually poverty or the stability of their kin" (pg 22). I find this approach to be unique and necessary, I also like the a white mid ...more
Jun 06, 2014 Bianca rated it liked it
Not great not terrible. Nothing in this book is mindblowing although granted it was published 40 years ago so maybe in the 70s this was groundbreaking stuff. I wished the author focused on one or two kin networks to discuss residential patterns, kin ownership of children, etc. I found myself getting lost about who was who and what relationships they had to each other. If there were less families used I think that would have helped comprehension of the subjects discussed. To me the most interesti ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing
This book is a classic in my field. Given my area of expertise and work, there is nothing better than sitting down to re-read the classics every now and again!
Feb 19, 2016 Monica rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I'm torn with this book. Stack does an excellent job in describing the methods poor blacks have to surviving in their communities. Yet, I felt like she portrayed many of these people as extremely promiscuous. Yes, the larger society plans a huge role in keeping them in poverty, as Stack stated over and over again. BUT these habits they've formed for surviving in these urban areas are self-harming. They create an endless cycle that keeps groups in poverty. It's an excellent inside look at the sta ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
This is a classic ethnography from the 70s of a poor black community in the Midwest. Not sure how I came to have it on my shelf but I was happy to find it- It's interesting to read about how the people in this community depend on each other in such structured ways. I also was really interested in the way children are valued and taken care of by whomever is able to care for them, so sometimes the grandparents or aunts or friends become the mothers/fathers- like they actually call themselves the m ...more
Devon Schlegelmilch
Sep 21, 2015 Devon Schlegelmilch rated it really liked it
a really interesting read on coping with poverty by those who live in it.
Mar 20, 2011 Stefani rated it liked it
This book made some interesting insights into the experience of urban poverty but fell short of analysis into issues that, 40 years later, continue to plague communities across the country. The author has succeeded in illuminating these issues, giving voices to people whose plight is not typically talked about or heard, as well as shattering some stereotypes about family structure in black communities.
Jul 06, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing
This ethnography is the feminist answer to the 1965 Moynihan Report in which Moynihan "blames the victim" for creating a culture of poverty. Stack demonstrates the complex and strategic ways that Black women in "the Flats" took care of their families, fictive and otherwise, while coping with poverty in the early 1970s. A classic!
Apr 15, 2016 Maria rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
20130121 For Social Anthropology 3400 (core requirement), Winter Q 2013.

Quick read (especially after Malinowski). Really dated. Pales in comparison to a more detailed and sophisticated study like "Unequal Childhoods". I'll be interested to discover the instructor's motivation for assigning it to this class.
Rachel Newhouse
Jul 18, 2008 Rachel Newhouse rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reads of all time. This book opened my eyes to poverty and the difficulties that come with being poor in a new way. Short, quick read . .. highly recommended.
Dec 30, 2007 Lindsay marked it as to-read
I started reading this for Feminist Methodologies in graduate school, some day I want to finish it.
Chuck Jackson
Jul 28, 2011 Chuck Jackson rated it really liked it
Great book though in twenty years of owning it I still haven't made it all the way through.
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne marked it as to-read
All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community by Carol B. Stack (1997)
Jan 23, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Study of the importance of families and networking.
Jun 18, 2014 Ro_Laren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: research
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: anthropology
Lucas Christiansen
Lucas Christiansen marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Nicki rated it really liked it
May 26, 2016
Marcy marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Susie marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Eleesha marked it as to-read
May 17, 2016
Amber Hitchcock
Amber Hitchcock marked it as to-read
May 14, 2016
Tory S
Tory S added it
May 11, 2016
Anita G-H
Anita G-H rated it really liked it
May 11, 2016
Alicia Farina
Alicia Farina marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Natália Otto
Natália Otto marked it as to-read
May 04, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
GWS301@Bowdoin: All Our Kin 13 13 Apr 09, 2012 06:46AM  
  • Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class
  • Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture
  • Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal
  • American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
  • Tally's Corner: A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men
  • Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis
  • No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City
  • The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
  • Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
  • Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White
  • In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio
  • Sidewalk
  • Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality
  • Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics
  • American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto
  • Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman
  • White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
  • Writing Women's Worlds: Bedouin Stories

Share This Book