Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Class & Child-Rearing

This article was astounding. The study was incredible, and the situations hit close to home. It also helped to view the differences in how parents rear their children according to class. The stress on self-direction and how it helps develop a healthy sense of decision making and personal choice and power in youth was probably the best part of the article. It was similar to the article we read 'Where Youth Hold the Power' and they discussed allowing youth the opportunity to choose as well as be involved. It's interesting how a parent who is poor, doesn't necessarily see leisure time as a moment for education. I'm not a parent but this is certainly something to keep in mind when raising my own children. "...we find abundant evidence that in the day-to-day business of childrearing, middle-class parents tend to stress the importance of self-direction" So it's clear that the more educated the parent is, the more money they make, the more aware they are of self direction and the benefits it can have with youth. The article went so far as to say that the jobs are what helps to mediate the relationship between parents and their children. I thought this was incredible because it shows that the parent sort of passes on what is expected of them. For example, the middle class child would provide alternatives to an order, while the poorer child would simply get upset, and accept the order. I think in lower paying jobs, it's not an option to ask why and you just do what's asked of you, while with higher paying jobs, you're encouraged to express yourself and ask questions. I'm simply drawing a parallel to my work at the mall and my work at the school I work at. While taking orders at both jobs, the job at school is a little more receptive to my skepticism than my job at the mall. This is important to take into consideration in our work as Youth Workers because we can sort of fill in the gap and open the door for more choices and self-direction from students.


  1. I like how you related it to high and low paying jobs. and how in a high paying job you are encouraged to ask questions and have an opinion. but in a low paying job you are required to shut up and do what your told. great analogy.

  2. I agree you have a good analogy here -- I also see different patterns of interactions between adults and children in middle class and working class schools. Be careful privileging one class interaction over the other -- the article makes a point to not judge but to notice differences. It can be difficult for a child (or anyone for that matter) to move across contexts with different value systems. As a youth worker, you may be able to help children move more fluidly/fluently across contexts in a reflective way.