Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Heimer, Karen

Second Advisor

Sauder, Michael

First Committee Member

Coohey, Carol

Second Committee Member

Campbell, Mary

Third Committee Member

Hitlin, Steven


Parenthood is a role that shapes the lives of parents and children. According to the sociology of families and marriages, criminology, and the sociology of punishment, the most alienated individuals in unequal America practice parenthood in fragile families struggling with poverty, the code of the street, and under correctional supervision. In attempts to connect and contribute to these literatures, this research project examines how individuals' delinquent/criminal role performance on the street stage and client/inmate role performance on the correctional stage influence their parent role performance on the home stage. To do so, this qualitative study collected 57 semi-structured interviews (12 mothers and 45 fathers) and analyzes participants' parent role, delinquent/criminal role, and client/inmate role. The findings suggest that a cross-generational role conflict shapes participants' parent role performance throughout their life course. Although conflicting roles (roles with conflicting expectations) can coexist in the self, limited resources (time, energy, and money) and problematic boundaries (weak or impenetrable) between social situations bring role conflict to the center of role performance. In this case, the role conflict between participants' ideal parent role on the home stage, delinquent/criminal role on the street stage, and client/inmate role on the correctional stage shapes participants' parent role performance throughout their life course.


Correctional supervision, Crime culture, Fatherhood, Parenthood, Prison, Symbolic Interaction


ix, 482 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 462-482).


Copyright 2012 Ana Lilia Campos-Holland

Included in

Sociology Commons