Class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children. Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously—as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children. The first edition of Unequal Childhoods was an instant classic, portraying in riveting detail the unexpected ways in which social class influences parenting in white and African American families. A decade later, Annette Lareau has revisited the same families and interviewed the original subjects to examine the impact of social class in the transition to adulthood.
This book is a powerful portrayal of class inequalities in the United States. It contains insightful analysis of the processes through which inequality is reproduced, and it frankly engages with methodological and analytic dilemmas usually glossed over in academic texts.
Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class and poor families, this study explores the fact that class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children and offers a picture of childhood in the 21st century.
An expert in her field, Helen Penn discusses the inequalities between and within countries of childhood poverty and how this poverty is recognized and defined through the following case-studies: Kazakhstan - once part of the Soviet Union Swaziland - a country in Southern Africa devastated by HIV and AIDS Himalayan India Brazil - one of the world's most unequal countries. These four case studies illustrate the diversity and complexity of the responses to the attempts to globalise childhood and highlight the need to address the inequalities of childhood experience.
Class differences permeate the neighborhoods, classrooms, and workplaces where we lead our daily lives. But little is known about how class really works, and its importance is often downplayed or denied. In this important new volume, leading sociologists systematically examine how social class operates in the United States today. Social Class argues against the view that we are becoming a classless society. The authors show instead the decisive ways social class matters—from how long people live, to how they raise their children, to how they vote. The distinguished contributors to Social Class examine how class works in a variety of domains including politics, health, education, gender, and the family. Michael Hout shows that class membership remains an integral part of identity in the U.S.—in two large national surveys, over 97 percent of Americans, when prompted, identify themselves with a particular class. Dalton Conley identifies an intangible but crucial source of class difference that he calls the "opportunity horizon"—children form aspirations based on what they have seen is possible. The best predictor of earning a college degree isn't race, income, or even parental occupation—it is, rather, the level of education that one's parents achieved. Annette Lareau and Elliot Weininger find that parental involvement in the college application process, which significantly contributes to student success, is overwhelmingly a middle-class phenomenon. David Grusky and Kim Weeden introduce a new model for measuring inequality that allows researchers to assess not just the extent of inequality, but also whether it is taking on a more polarized, class-based form. John Goldthorpe and Michelle Jackson examine the academic careers of students in three social classes and find that poorly performing students from high-status families do much better in many instances than talented students from less-advantaged families. Erik Olin Wright critically assesses the emphasis on individual life chances in many studies of class and calls for a more structural conception of class. In an epilogue, journalists Ray Suarez, Janny Scott, and Roger Hodge reflect on the media's failure to report hardening class lines in the United States, even when images on the nightly news—such as those involving health, crime, or immigration—are profoundly shaped by issues of class. Until now, class scholarship has been highly specialized, with researchers working on only one part of a larger puzzle. Social Class gathers the most current research in one volume, and persuasively illustrates that class remains a powerful force in American society.
How do race and class intersect to shape the identities and experiences of Black middle-class parents and their children? What are Black middle-class parents’ strategies for supporting their children through school? What role do the educational histories of Black middle-class parents play in their decision-making about their children’s education? There is now an extensive body of research on the educational strategies of the white middle classes but a silence exists around the emergence of the Black middle classes and their experiences, priorities, and actions in relation to education. This book focuses on middle-class families of Black Caribbean heritage. Drawing on rich qualitative data from nearly 80 in-depth interviews with Black Caribbean middle-class parents, the internationally renowned contributors reveal how these parents attempt to navigate their children successfully through the school system, and defend them against low expectations and other manifestations of discrimination. Chapters identify when, how and to what extent parents deploy the financial, cultural and social resources available to them as professional, middle class individuals in support of their children’s academic success and emotional well-being. The book sheds light on the complex, and relatively neglected relations, between race, social class and education, and in addition, poses wider questions about the experiences of social mobility, and the intersection of race and class in forming the identity of the parents and their children. The Colour of Class: The educational strategies of the Black middle classes will appeal to undergraduates and postgraduates on education, sociology and social policy courses, as well as academics with an interest in Critical Race Theory and Bourdieu. The Colour of Class was awarded 2nd prize by the Society for Educational Studies: Book Prize 2016.
This book offers an up-to-the-moment assessment of the condition of the American family in an era of growing inequality.
This book is intended to bring greater nuance to the study of inequality and higher education. Rather than focusing on human capital and students' experiences inside the classroom, the author highlights the ways in which the experiential core of college life-the social and extra-curricular worlds of higher education-operates as a setting in which social class inequalities manifest and get reproduced.
Microsociologists seek to capture social life as it is experienced, and in recent decades no one has championed the microsociological approach more fiercely than Randall Collins. The pieces in this exciting volume offer fresh and original insights into key aspects of Collins’ thought, and of microsociology more generally. The introductory essay by Elliot B. Weininger and Omar Lizardo provides a lucid overview of the key premises this perspective. Ethnographic papers by Randol Contreras, using data from New York, and Philippe Bourgois and Laurie Kain Hart, using data from Philadelphia, examine the social logic of violence in street-level narcotics markets. Both draw on heavily on Collins’ microsociological account of the features of social situations that tend to engender violence. In the second section of the book, a study by Paul DiMaggio, Clark Bernier, Charles Heckscher, and David Mimno tackles the question of whether electronically mediated interaction exhibits the ritualization which, according to Collins, is a common feature of face-to-face encounters. Their results suggest that, at least under certain circumstances, digitally mediated interaction may foster social solidarity in a manner similar to face-to-face interaction. A chapter by Simone Polillo picks up from Collins’ work in the sociology of knowledge, examining multiple ways in which social network structures can engender intellectual creativity. The third section of the book contains papers that critically but sympathetically assess key tenets of microsociology. Jonathan H. Turner argues that the radically microsociological perspective developed by Collins will better serve the social scientific project if it is embedded in a more comprehensive paradigm, one that acknowledges the macro- and meso-levels of social and cultural life. A chapter by David Gibson presents empirical analyses of decisions by state leaders concerning whether or not to use force to deal with internal or external foes, suggesting that Collins’ model of interaction ritual can only partially illuminate the dynamics of these highly consequential political moments. Work by Erika Summers-Effler and Justin Van Ness seeks to systematize and broaden the scope of Collins’ theory of interaction, by including in it encounters that depart from the ritual model in important ways. In a final, reflective chapter, Randall Collins himself highlights the promise and future of microsociology. Clearly written, these pieces offer cutting-edge thinking on some of the crucial theoretical and empirical issues in sociology today.
"How much compensation ought to be paid to a woman who was raped 7,500 times? What would the members of the Commission want for their daughters if their daughters had been raped even once?" —Karen Parker, speaking before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Seemingly every week, a new question arises relative to the current worldwide ferment over human injustices. Why does the U.S. offer $20,000 atonement money to Japanese Americans relocated to concentration camps during World War II, while not even apologizing to African Americans for 250 years of human bondage and another century of institutionalized discrimination? How can the U.S. and Canada best grapple with the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans on which their countries were founded? How should Japan make amends to Korean "comfort women" sexually enslaved during World War II? Why does South Africa deem it necessary to grant amnesty to whites who tortured and murdered blacks under apartheid? Is Germany's highly praised redress program, which has paid billions of dollars to Jews worldwide, a success, and, as such, an example for others? More generally, is compensation for a historical wrong dangerous "blood money" that allows a nation to wash its hands forever of its responsibility to those it has injured? A rich collection of essays from leading scholars, pundits, activists, and political leaders the world over, many written expressly for this volume, When Sorry Isn't Enough also includes the voices of the victims of some of the world's worst atrocities, thereby providing a panoramic perspective on an international controversy often marked more by heat than reason.