According to Sociologist Patrice Hill Collins she notes a paradigm consist of the beliefs, values, assumptions and techniques shared by the members of a community or profession. When you begin to invest in yourself you become a part of communities and professions of people that are focused on growing their business and servicing their consumers, participants, clients and partners.
For those who may not know a paradigm is a guide or map that the members of a discipline follow in choosing topics to study, in deciding what methods to us to study them, in developing theories to explain their findings and deciding what uses theories to uses their findings will be put. Now when I first gave some thought to taking the steps to invest in myself I was skeptical like many others and quite honestly a bit fearful to invest my money with out the knowledge of how it works and if it really does work. I wondered would I get a return on my invest and how soon would I get a return on my investment. Although I had these thoughts about investing in myself for business; I had to stop an laugh because when I applied to college I never gave it a second though when applying for student loans and grants to pay for school. I was very confident in knowing that when I graduated that I would be more marketable in the work force. Never thought about how or when I would have to pay the loans back just knew I was doing something that would improve my life and my families life. Now isn't that crazy why wouldn't I have the same skeptical attitude about school that I have in investing in myself?
Since sociology is a multiple paradigm of science (Ritzer, 1980), it consist as Collins points out of a system of knowledge shared by sociologist but also of a number of competing paradigms for example: Functionalist, Marxist, Feminist and so on. Sociology is a social product- the body of knowledge that composes it has been shaped by the specific Social, Political, and Economic circumstances in which Sociologist live. This multi-paradigmatic nature of sociology is very divers as the sociologist that are involved in the multiple paradigm study and they don't always agree on what is a social problem and what causes a particular problem or how it should be studied however they do their best through facts and values. Now I am no sociology major nor expert but I just thought I take some time to attempt to express my theory or hypothesis as it may apply to my steps that lead to me taking the risk to invest in myself so that I can also help other's to gain some interest and or take some risk on themselves also.
Facts are empirically verifiable, that is we can measure or observe them even though not all facts will be apparent. Values in contrast are evaluations or subjective judgments. Clearly both facts and values have their place in sociology as they almost always are influenced by our personal values in making decisions about what is most interesting, important, or worthy of study how it should be studied; we can not impose our values on the data we obtain. The research must be both subjective and objective as their are objective nature to social problems as people are clearly harmed by or suffer under particular conditions which are empirically verifiable.
So as I attempt to put this into perspective from my point of view keep in mind the above information provided as this is my hypothesis and or theory on social, political, and economic circumstances in which I live everyday. Here are some stats on the teenage pregnancy rate per 1,000 births ranging from the time periods of the 1950's thru 2009. Reasons for the stats are to show a time line and history from my birth to my children's birth and some of the variable empirical facts to my knowledge and research findings. No I can not parent my children the way I was parented. Due to being brought up in a different era time and space. However, I can parent my children o the foundations family values, morals, respect, discipline , social , political, and economics of the time in which I am parenting them. As I will be a parent and grandparent until the day I leave this realm here on earth.
According to an article from Heather D. Boonstra, Guttmacher Institute published February 2002:
Reports Key trends over time: The rate of teen child bearing in the United States has fallen steeply since the late 1950's from and all time high of 96 births per 1,000 women *ages 15-19 in 1957 to an all time low of 49 in 2000. Birth rates fell steadily throughout the 1960's & 1970's. Boonstra also reports that during the 1990's teenage pregnancy rates and birth rates declined to record low levels. Even with the progress, however the U.S. teen birth rate is on of the highest in the developed world. She reports that the provisions of 1996 Welfare Reform Act and re authorization process likely will set the stage for a major debate over one of the law's main stated goal's; reducing out of wedlock births and how best to achieve it.
Social conservatives favor programs and policies encouraging marriage and promoting abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of marriage for people all ages. Others suggest that it would be m.
ore appropriate and more effective for policy makers to concentrate on finding ways to sustain recent declines in teenage pregnancy and child bearing; since half of first non-marital births are to teens and almost 8 in 10 teens pregnancies are unintended.
C.D.C. 1980 Stats Nov. 25, 1992
* Birth rates between 1980 and 1988 rose by 14% for women ages 30-34 and by 41% for women ages 35-39
*Teenage pregnancy rate per 1,000 in 1988 was 197 for African American and 93 for Whites.
Health Human Services (Office of Population) 2017
*18.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19 or 194,377 babies born to females in this age group.
*Ages 15-19 Births account for 5.0% of all births in 2017. Nearly 9 & 10 (89.2%) of these births occurred outside of marriage.
*Birth of teens ages 15-19 in a year births per 1.000 females was down 17% from 2017 compared to 2016 birth rate was down 20.3% and down 20% from 1991 reported record high of 61.8% declined each year since 2009.
The U.S. teen birth rate remains higher then that in many developing countries including Canada & United Kingdom. Not all births are first births. 2017 1 in 6 [16.3%] births to 15-19 year old's were females who already had one or more birth.
While I was born to teenage parents in 1968 they were married and remained married until their death. They were professionals and at least one of my parents had higher education other than high school. They faced challenges but had family support with my siblings and I over all not a perfect life but a stable life with structure and guidance.
Now my experience was slightly different as I two was a teen mother. It was prior to the birth of the second child I got married. The difference is I was divorced by time the second child turned 1 year of age so I was a mother of two in my young adulthood with a high school diploma. So unlike my parents I relied on the Social Welfare System to take care of my family after the Welfare Reform Act was being applied. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act from what I can remember when I first applied at the time during the 1st pregnancy; I recall having to take a test and based on the results of the test it was determined what services participants would receive for example: medical benefits, cash , food stamps and job training education.
My family and I benefited from the medical, cash, and food stamp benefits due to me still living at home with my parents and was enrolled in nursing school at the time but had to come out because I was performing poorly and I was to far along in my pregnancy and was an insurance risk for the school at the time. My world was spinning at the time and although the father of the child was a high school graduate he was not working at the time and lived with his mother. So needless to say it was an experience, once I gave birth to my first child and was able to go to work I did due to having being a Certified Nurse Aide from the high school co-op work program that was offered to all junior and seniors during that time in 1985 and over time the board of education removed the programs from the public schools and created other schools with specific career options which students have to apply and get accepted to enroll.
Being a teen mother working and living at home in a few months I wanted to leave home because I wanted to live by own rules and not my parents rules. However, that was a challenge also given that I did not earn enough to get a place on my own. So I wen to my father's mother at the time who not only owned her home but the home next door to her that she made apartment living space. My grandmother provided me a place to live and it came with rules as well. Now being a young mother not really knowing to much about life and having this new responsibility I had the nerve to get pregnant again however, this time I was terrified to tell my parents.
Eventually I had to and shortly after their father asked to marry me in a non-traditional way. Nonetheless we got married and became parents of two children. Due to the fact that we were young we did what young parents do fight over money and responsibility , who is going to keep the children and our work schedules. Soon the relationship dissolved I was still married on paper in the court of law but living as a single mother. It was very challenging trying to find babysitters, trying to keep a job and a roof over our head. The Welfare System did assist me in my time of need every time however the benefits did not increase and I had to rely on others to help me with housing my children and I. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.
So as time went on the children grew and were able to go to child care and that's when I went to school. I still faced challenges and had to still receive governmental assistance with housing but going to school did help as my employment became more steady the pay was still low but at least it was affordable enough for me to maintain housing. Eventually, I completed school and after sometime obtained stable employment. Along the way there was many challenges and people who would give me sound advice that I was smart enough to take in and not reject as I see many young parents due today. It saddens me when young people refuse to take advice and action from those of us that have been there. The circumstances maybe different but the advice is coming from a place of experience and requires some responsibility of the young parent so I don't know if they don't want the responsibility or the advice either way I find that when they refuse to follow they continue to face challenges and show very little progress in their parenting.
I don't want to get off on a rant so I am going to get focused. As I continued to work and parent many times my father was the stand in father for my children as we would hold court family meetings when ever discipline was involved. I choose this method because as a mother of two you carry a lot of issues due to the other parent not being present and or involved and I needed to develop open communication with my children because I was the bread winner and everything else that comes with being a parent. I attempted getting married again but failed miserably to end up a mother of two all over again. This time I had to go back and live with my parents and during that time I noticed some changes but was so wrapped up in my own world trying to get back on my own. I can admit I missed somethings but soon had to get involved at least by this time I was able to have found affordable housing for my family.
During the time of caring for my parents I learned a lot about navigating through the health care system and took on the responsibility of not just caring for my family but now my parents and a sibling that later developed some challenges. Yet, I kept on going. I was doing everything I could think of to keep everything that I have during this time as well as trying to take care of myself. It just felt like the world was on my shoulders and I carried it the best of my ability.
I was definitely working on burnout during this time my parents passed and I lost the last living relative on my father side one year after losing my parents. I just wanted to scream God help me. On top of all that I began to have trouble on my once stable job. I faced 9 weeks suspension without pay and I was to tired to go find yet another job but I was thinking of a plan because if I had lost my job what was I going to due. So prior to getting ready to fight for my job I began taking courses on line and shortly after I had took one pay and invested in myself with a prayer to God to help me see this through because I had everything to lose and nothing to lose because if it doesn't work. I knew I was going to find another job regardless. When you have faced life many changes you become resourceful and there is no such thing as turning back or giving up, you just do what you have to do.
So by time I had to serve the suspension I was well on my way building my store and just like signing up for school I didn't give it a second thought and have not stopped since. In the beginning I didn't have a clue as to what I was reading or doing. I just keep taking the steps needed to take and shortly I began to see God's hand in everything that I was doing and continue to do. It doesn't mean that I don't have challenges still because I do but I react to them differently now and I am enjoying every step of the process especially since I understand things better as I continue.
Nothing in life is guaranteed not even life. I have faced many challenges and can tell any young mother that is on the path that I have traveled that don't worry it will all be alright. Along the journey it will feel as if the world and everything in it is against you. Don't feed the fear, doubt or those that maybe talking about you and your situation you know why because as long as you are determined to listen, create a plan, commit to it and work the plan and revise when needed as well as be the best parent you can be and love your children you too will begin to see God's hands in your life.
It doesn't matter what society says, it doesn't matter what the government is doing, it doesn't matter what the statistics say and the social theory and or hypothesis is if you are determined to succeed then you will. You want to know why because as you go through challenges in life they help build your mind set. My advice is don't just stop at being the best go for excellence and you will achieve it. Apply yourself don't worry about who is there or not you are there. Follow the path of many other's who have faced challenges and overcome them or create your own. Don't be a blinded eye or ear take it all in as you go on you will see that it will all be worth it. Being a mother is being a Boss in your own right. You can Win in Life and whatever Business you may choose as mindset is everything with any thing in life. There are the Have's and the Have's not you choose.
Reference: *Contemporary Societies- Problems and Prospects; Daniel J. Curran * Claaire M. Renzetti
*C.D.C.Gov ; Health Human Services Office of Populations Affairs
*Guttmacher Institute; Heather D. Boonstra published 2/2002