Random Family - Analysis

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  Random
 Family:
 An
 Analysis
  Sex,
 drugs,
 family,
 children,
 money,
 and
 prison
 are
 all
 complicated
 things
 that
 are
 

reserved
 for
 adults
 to
 worry
 about
 in
 ordinary
 circumstances.
 In
 the
 book
 Random
 Family
  by
 Nicole
 LeBlanc,
 teenagers
 and
 young
 children
 are
 forced
 to
 learn
 to
 navigate
 multiple
  adult
 worlds
 and
 to
 constantly
 have
 to
 “change
 hats”
 depending
 on
 their
 specific
 situations.
  In
 only
 400
 pages
 of
 text,
 multiple
 characters
 in
 the
 novel
 have
 had
 multiple
 children
 and
  partners.
 These
 same
 characters
 have
 experimented
 with
 drugs,
 sold
 drugs,
 covered
 up
 for
 
  others
 who
 are
 dealing
 drugs,
 gone
 to
 jail,
 and
 gotten
 out
 of
 jail;
 all
 within
 an
  approximate10-­‐year
 span.
 The
 sociological
 exchange
 theory
 can
 be
 applied
 to
 many
  different
 parts
 of
 this
 novel,
 which
 will
 be
 discussed
 below.
 Also,
 there
 are
 three
 major
  undercurrent
 themes
 in
 this
 novel
 that
 will
 be
 discussed
 in
 great
 detail
 over
 the
 course
 of
  this
 essay
 and
 they
 are:
 cultural
 perspectives
 on
 relationships;
 multi-­‐partnered
 fertility
  issues;
 and
 childhood
 adultification.
 
  The
 sociological
 theory
 termed
 exchange
 theory,
 “views
 people
 as
 rational
 beings
 

who
 decide
 whether
 to
 exchange
 good
 or
 services
 by
 considering
 the
 benefits
 they
 will
  receive,
 the
 costs
 they
 will
 incur,
 and
 the
 benefits
 they
 might
 receive
 if
 they
 were
 to
 choose
  an
 alternative
 course”
 (Cherlin,
 p
 22).
 This
 is
 definitely
 seen
 in
 how
 Jessica
 navigates
 her
  relationships.
 
 
 
 
For
 Jessica,
 love
 was
 the
 most
 interesting
 place
 to
 go
 and
 beauty
 was
 the
 ticket.
 She
 gravitated
  toward
 the
 enterprising
 boys,
 the
 boys
 with
 money,
 who
 were
 mostly
 the
 ones
 dealing
 drugs
 -­‐-­‐
 purposeful
 


 
 

 
 

boys
 who
 pushed
 out
 of
 the
 bodega's
 smudged
 doors
 as
 if
 they
 were
 stepping
 into
 a
 party
 instead
 of
 onto
 a
  littered
 sidewalk
 along
 a
 potholed
 street.
 Jessica
 sashayed
 onto
 the
 pavement
 with
 a
 similar
 readiness
  whenever
 she
 descended
 the
 four
 flights
 of
 stairs
 from
 the
 apartment
 and
 emerged,
 expectant
 and
 smiling,
  from
 the
 paint-­‐chipped
 vestibule.
 Lourdes
 thought
 that
 Jessica
 was
 a
 dreamer:
 "She
 always
 wanted
 to
 have
 a
  king
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