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Unequal Childhoods, and the Unequal Futures They Lead To

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Rebecca Roberts

on 1 April 2012

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Transcript of Unequal Childhoods, and the Unequal Futures They Lead To

Rebecca Roberts Unequal Childhoods, and the Unequal
Futures they Lead To How Class, Race, and Family Life Determine a Childs Future Types of Capital There are two parenting styles
displayed in this book: Concerted Cultivation Displayed from Middle Class Families -involve children in many planned (and often expensive) activities
-children develop a sense of entitlement
-kids are taught to reason, discuss, and talk back
-family time is rare
-parents often solve children's problems for them Natural Growth Often displayed by poor and working class families -children have little time interacting with adults
-adults do not discuss, they give directives and children are expected to listen
-no planned activities, so more self-entertainment and joy in planned activites
-do not question people of authority, and feel uncomfortable around them
-self-sufficient
-family is close and extremely important Each parenting Style Provides Children with different forms of Capital, which will help them succeed in the future Forms of Capital Cultural Capital
physical capital
economic capital
social capital
human capital
linguistic capital Providing a child with cultural capital means they have the skills, knowledge, education, advantages, and know the rules of society. Knowing what exact steps to be successful and then knowing how to execute and acheive them gives them a major advantage. Providing your child with physical capital means literally giving them the material tools to succeed. Whether a child has ample pencils, a calculator, or a nice laptop. When a family is affluent enough to provide these expensive material things the child develops advantages Economic Capital, or money more specifically, helps the child in obvious ways. Money talks in this world. Having cash and assets that the child can access means the difference between private and public schools, tutors, and even which universities become available. skills and knowledge that they can perform later for economic values. social networks a child develops,
knowing people in higher positions
can give them access and oppurtunities Knowing the language of sucess, how to communicate A child who develops more family capital at home, will be able to readily transfer it to school and future employment. Knowing how to discuss a point, deal with other team members, and knowing how capitalize on your social connections will lead to more economic capital and physical capital. All of these things can be learned in the home and school thru class activities, family discussions, soccer teams, or problem solving math. To Display the different types of capital I will apply them to one of the target Children, Garret Tallinger Garret is a white, middle class child Garret has two younger brothers who sometimes are overshadowed by there brothers many talents and activities. He plays on two soccer teams, a basketball team, choir, among other various team and school commitments. Physical Capital Economic Capital Social Capital Human Capital Linguistic Capital Garret's Lifestyle is able to provide him with many important types of capital: " "Garrett's parents have taught him and his brothers to shake hands with adult men when they are introduced...they are explicitly told to look them in the eye." pg.63 As displayed in the story above the family capital that has been instilled in Garret will readily transfer over to job interviews and areas where communication is necessary. "May, Garrett has baseball, forest soccer (private), Intercounty Soccer, swim team practice, piano lessons, and saxaphone" pg 42.
Garrett will learn many important skills and tools that may produce economic value. Through his teams he will learn teamwork, working hard to accomplish a goal, and time management among other things. In one example of social capital there is a conflict between soccer teams for Garrett and while Garrett's father talks to another dad of a child on the team he displays how he has connections to other people, that can solve his problems.
They are discussing the time conflict, "That's true, I'll just talk to the coach about it." He pauses and then, turning to walk down the step, looks back and says, "Maybe(winking) we can get special dispention." He laughs. On page 41 The Tallinger's economic profile is discussed. They frequent at a private country club, provide their children with the luxury of not knowing cost or denying them access to anything based on money. They have a collective income of $175,000 and live in a large suburban home. Not having to worry about money provides Garrett with not only endless oppurtunities, but also a sense of entitlement. Why Does this Matter? All children have different lives and experiences, and knowing these two parenting styles will never give me (as a future teacher) a cookie cutter guide to teaching children based on their economic class. However, children typically show similar patterns and knowing which parententing style the children were influenced under helps me determine how best to teach them. Understanding about capitals will help me know which children posess what talents or skills and which don't.
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