The sociologist argued that middle-class kids are raised in a way that provides them with the skills necessary to remain in the middle class.
Jonah, did you ask your French teacher about why you got that B on that assignment? At 5:00 p.m. today, you have an orthodontist appointment. We'll pick up Thai food on the way home and then you'll finish your English homework. Don't forget to put a book cover on your essay. A book cover always bumps a grade up half a point. Your dad can check your math when he gets home. Do you want tofu in your green curry or chicken? Ian, do you want noodles?
Every once in a while, you step back from yourself as a parent and say, "Dude! Did I actually just say that? I used to be cool. Did some alien take over my brain and turn me into this Mom Machine?"
No crab-faced alien can be blamed for transforming me from a slacker in a black dress into what I am today. According to sociologist Annette Lareau, I'm a product of my social class.
During the 1990s, Lareau and a team of grad students studied 88 families from various backgrounds -- black, white, middle class, working class, poor -- and then conducted in-depth observations of 12 families. In her 2003 book, Unequal Childhoods, she explains that middle-class families raised their children in a different way than working-class and poor families, and that these differences cut across racial lines. Lareau's research is finding a new audience thanks to the resurgence of interest in social class and economic outcomes.