Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition, with an Update a Decade Later

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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 ...
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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fascinating study." —-Malcolm Gladwell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452654713
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/14/2011
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Edition number: 2
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Annette Lareau is a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education.

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration and performance. Sands's characterizations are rich and expressive and her narrations evocative and intimate. She has also won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for her narration of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein.

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