Behavior in the Home in Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families by Annette Lareau

Behavior in the Home in Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families by Annette Lareau

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After reading “Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black families and White Families,” by Annette Lareau, it was evident that she collected much data from her study of different types of families. In this study with the help of other sociologists, Lareau went into the lives of both black and white middle class and working class/ poor families. In her study she observed the behavior of children at home, school, and in the public eye. She observed the parenting methods the adults chose to use and the child’s reaction to them. Lareau and her team were able to see what influences certain factors such as income, race, family size, home location, schooling, and career choices had on each family and their children. The purpose of this study as well as the central argument is very well addressed by Lareau in the text and leads to many well supported conclusions.
Lareau’s main argument in the text is that when children grow up in certain environments, parents are more likely to use specific methods of child rearing that may be different from other families in different social classes. In the text, Lareau describes how she went into the home of the McAllisters and the Williams, two black families leading completely different lives. Ms. McAllister lives in a low income apartment complex where she takes care of her two children as well as other nieces and nephews. Ms. McAllister never married the father of her two children and she relies on public assistance for income. She considers herself to be a woman highly capable of caring for all the children yet she still struggles to deal with the stress of everyday financial issues. The Williams on the other hand live in a wealthier neighborhood and only have one child. Mr. W...


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...parents were much more successful in the working world encouraged him to complete many daily activities such as choir and piano lessons. His parents engaged him in conversations that promoted reasoning and negotiation and they showed interest in his daily life. Harold’s mother joked around with the children, simply asking them questions about television, but never engaged them in conversations that drew them out. She wasn’t aware of Harold’s education habits and was oblivious to his dropping grades because of his missing assignments. Instead of telling one of the children to seek help for a bullying problem she told them to simply beat up the child that was bothering them until they stopped. Alex’s parents on the other hand were very involved in his schooling and in turn he scored very well in his classes. Like Lareau suspected, growing up













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