Streams

The Foster Care System; Religion in Prison; Dying Bees; Economic Uncertainty and the Working Class

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On today’s show: Foster mother Cris Beam talks about her experience and what she learned about the intricacies of the foster care system. Then, we’ll hear about four inmates at Pennsylvania’s Graterford Prison who work together in the chapel there. Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh investigates what’s causing the mass death of honey bees and what the possibility of their extinction would mean for all of us. Plus, a look at how working-class men and women are making the transition to adulthood in a time of economic uncertainty.

The Intimate Life of American Foster Care

Cris Beam talks about her experience as a foster mother, and describes what it’s like for children growing up in the foster care system—the back-and-forth with agencies, the shuffling between private homes and group homes, the emotionally charged tug of prospective adoptive parents, the pull of biological parents, and aging out of the system. To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care draws on Beam’s experience and traces the firsthand stories of kids and parents.

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Religious Life in an American Prison

Four inmates—two Christian and two Muslim men from South Philadelphia—are serving life sentences at Pennsylvania’s maximum-security Graterford Prison, and all of them work in Graterford’s chapel. Joshua Dubler tells the story of one week in the prison chapel, and talks about the many uses prisoners make of their religions. He’s the author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison.

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Dying Honeybees

Time magazine’s environmental editor Bryan Walsh looks at the causes behind mass bee deaths — a mixture of new pesticides, parasitic mites and bacterial disease within the colonies — and what the potential death of the honeybee could mean for our future. His article “The Death of Bees” is in the August 19 issue of Time.  

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Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

Jennifer Silva discusses how the erosion of traditional markers of adulthood, like marriage, a steady job, and a house, has changed life for working class Americans. Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty is based on interviews with working-class people in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia, and looks at the economic insecurity, deepening inequality, and uncertainty about marriage and family many young adults face.

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