Unequal Childhoods Lareau Summary

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Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods shows us the process of sorting ourselves by social/cultural/economic class begins in childhood and never really ends. We may be unaware that as educators we may be nudging the process along, but being aware of this phenomenon will help us to end the cycle. Lareau discussed that parents tend to practice, basically, one of two types of child rearing, “concerted cultivation” or “the accomplishment of natural growth.” Lareau draws her most distinct line of socio-economic discrimination between the middle class, on the one hand, and the working class and poor, on the other. She acknowledges that family income and assets play a large role in directing our lives, but the determining factor for her is how parents view and carry out their responsibilities as parents. She claims this reflects the parents’ own education and occupation, as well as their hopes for their children. This is where “concerted cultivation” and “the accomplishment of natural growth” come into play.…show more content…
In Other People’s Children, Delpit explores different styles of communication exhibited by people of different racial backgrounds, and how these differences may have a negative impact on learning. Delpit sees a problem when a typical white, middle-class teacher uses a passive communication style with her low income black students, such as asking them to take their seats instead of telling them to take their seats. She argues that this passive communication style is confusing because low-income black children’s expectations of how authority figures should act, and this disparity hinders their academic progress. So, while Lareau feels that children are at a linguistic advantage when their communication with adults in their lives is more of the “passive, conversational” style, Delpit feels their education is negatively affected with this style of

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