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The books Unequal Childhood by Annette Lareau and The Pecking Order by Dalton Conley explain significant issues regarding the development of children in our modern society. Development is the progressive growth of children towards adulthood through which they achieve personal status in society. These authors present useful information on how families today have the ability of affecting social mobility and inequality (Jean, 34). In this essay, I will use examples from the two texts to explain the similarities and differences. The two authors have been able to present convincing information regarding different ways of bringing up children.
To begin with the book Unequal Childhoods, twelve families were sampled from eighty-eight family studies in order to understand the major impacts of how social settings and social class make a huge difference in the life of these families (Lareau, 45). After conducting the studies, the book goes ahead to argue that race, class, and social status of a given family will greatly determine the way in which the child will be in a position of cultivating the necessary skills and also use them in the future to improve his/her own life (Lareau, 34). For example, a child born in a White family will be better off compared with that form a Black American family. This is due to the social statuses of such families. In addition, the nature and social status of a given family will affect the social structures of the society. Children from upper class families will remain in a better position to develop their skills and eventually become successful individuals in society.
For example, a child from this kind of family has all resources to attain better academic qualifications. In contrast, those who come from poor backgrounds have reduced chances of becoming happy in their future lives. The kind of social class that families are in determines social inequality and mobility (Lareau, 83). Over the years, mobility has decreased, while inequality increased. According to the Inequality Reader, 53% began in poorest quartile were still there ten years later. It's said that those failies who are on top stay on top and those in the middle, stay in the middle while those in the bottom, stay at the bottom. Some other factors such as race and social structures affect the development and growth of the child. A child from a low-class race will not have better resources to develop himself and become successful in life. The reason is due to the availability of resources for economic empowerment.
This is an example of an ethnographic study that offers valuable views and insights into some of the contemporary families in poor, working and middle classes in American households (Lareau, 48). A lot of studies have been done regarding parenting habits as well as family culture and how it relates to family life. The example of an affluent family in the suburb shows how situations can affect the differences in such families. Parenting methods, according to Lareau, tend to vary greatly by class and not by race. This can be seen from the differences existing in working classes and poor families in the same race (Lareau, 85).
The social position and resources the parents have determines how the children will be brought up. According to Lareau, working class families and children usually accept financial limits causing more rivalry. Children who have been born from middle-level families on the other hand, tend to become corporate since they know what they are after in life, and not those from upper class backgrounds since they are given everything to them. The children from upper class have all resources thus have the capability of achieving much in life.
The Pecking Order presents something different. The text explains how family dynamics can be used to influence the success of the children. It gives attention to birth order, something that is used to explain how different children grow differently despite having been brought up together (Jean, 59). In the discussion, Dalton argues that each and every family tends to have a certain pecking order, something which is independent of the birth order (Jean, 75). That being the case, the differences existing between the siblings are therefore overstatedd by alienation and poverty. For example, the differences are noted in that financial status and social position might affect the growth and development of the child.
Lareau gives discussions regarding all the children within the same family to show how race and social position will affect their growth and success in life. On the other hand, Dalton's book does not offer relevance to issues to do with race (Conley, 84). He believes that several situations will result in different characters and abilities of children even from the same family. He explains how different families decide to invest differently in the child who is more likely to succeed than the others. When this is done, there will be divides in the family (Jean, 69). This leads to a diverse development for children despite being in the same social class. That being the case, this choice made by the parent regarding the most successful sibling is something that is done independently to the birth order, innate talents, or parental attention (Conley, 84). For example, he tries to explain how different procedures applied to bring up different children from the same social position can result in different paths of life for siblings (Conley, 56).
In conclusion, both examine the childhood of children and how the family will affect such process. It is notable however, that Lareau digs deeper into the social position and how it affects the growth of the child. She explains this situation without having to examine how such procedures can influence the growth and capability of children from the same family. Dalton offers a similar analysis but from a different point of view. Nature-nurture concept- concept in where nature discusses genetics and Biology how someone is born in and nature is the parenting, Institutions and culture. When there are better economic conditions, the younger child benefits more because of more years and gets to enjoy it longer than the older child because he moves out. In comparison, the education decisions made by the family can appropriately lead the children into different paths of life even if they are from the same social position.
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