Unequal Childhoods, by Annette Lareau

Topics: Social class, Family, Working class Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: June 13, 2013
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Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by Annette Lareau A great number of researches associate family with its class status and the economic prosperity, but none of them reveal the way through which inequality is produced as it is done in Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by American sociologist Annette Lareau. The author has analyzed the relationships of children with their families and the external world that differ depending on social class by making observations from primary school, conversing with students’ parents. As a result, Lareau identifies two parenting styles: concerted cultivation and the accomplishment of natural growth. The first style of children rising is determined as “concerted cultivation”. This approach is prevalent in middle-class families, where parents perpetually encourage and evaluate their children’s talents by making them interested in different activities, getting involved in their behavior with teachers. According to Lareau “the children found participating in the project enjoyable. They reported it made them feel “special” (Lareau 9). In contrast to the previous approach, "natural accomplishment of growth" is common among working-class and poor families. This parenting style is more natural, concentrating on giving children’s main needs while permitting talents to cultivate naturally rather than the concerted cultivation. Lareau claims: “Working class and poor families organize their time differently from middle-class families” (Lareau 72-73). Life of those children goes on near home with a small amount of activities. Their parents do not pay due attention to the education and development of the children. The author says that the main task for these parents is “to put food on the table, arrange for housing , … have them ready for school” and they do not “focus on concerted cultivation” (Lareau 2-3). Lareau states that working-class parents...

Cited: Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. 2nd ed. University of California Press, 2011. Print.
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