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Lillian Rubins book Families on the Fault Line goes directly to the experience of everyday people and shows how the connection between economic decline and racial tension is continuously reinvented in America She interviewed 162 families in all mostly white but including a substantial number of blacks Latinos and Asians many from families she had kept in touch with since first interviewing them for her book Worlds of Pain written about twenty years before Rubins compassion for her subjects situation is clear and this added to her training as a psychotherapist enables her to gain their confidence and draw out the truth about their experiences and their attitudes She argues that the myth of America as a classless society keeps the problems of working-class families from being acknowledged and dealt with and that for these invisible Americans the shrinking economy has brought fear and anger hopelessness and helplessness Rubin sees an shocking rise in white ethnicity as frustrated white working-class families seek to place the blame for their problems on ethnic minorities--an attitude she claims that has been fostered by national administrations as a way of deflecting anger about the state of the economy and the declining quality of urban life Rubin warns that failure to recognize the suffering of the working-class family and to seek solutions for its problems jeopardize the very life of the nation itself The most striking part of this book is the evidence of the political machine that practically invites racism and other divisive forces into the situation Families on the Fault Line contributes to a broader understanding of the pressures on the family through the case studies that Rubin demonstrates by using real people to illustrate these many different areas of class race and ethnicity in the reading There are many current pressures on the family both internal and external The make-up of the family is not as cut and dry as it once was The
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