Jennifer F. Hamer received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin. Her general area of study is the sociological and qualitative study of families, especially those within the United States. Within this broad field, her primary research interests are African American fathers, mothers, and families, especially those that are urban, low-income and working class.
She has published in varying journals such as the Journal of Marriage and the Family and Journal of Black Studies. In addition, she is the author of What it Means to Be Daddy: Fatherhood for Black Men Living Away from Their Children (Columbia University Press, 2001). Her most recent book, Abandoned in the Heartland: Work, Family, and Living in East St. Louis (University of California Press, 2011), is an analysis of how working class African American men and women negotiate work, kin care, and family in a poor suburb.
Her research interests are reflected in her teaching and service work. She offers courses on varying themes regarding African American families, communities and qualitative methodologies. She is a former Co-chair of the Black Radical Congress and former editor of Race & Society, the official journal of the Association of Black Sociologists. She is the founding Editor of Black Women, Gender and Families, a new Black Women’s Studies journal now housed in the Department of American Studies at the University of Kansas.