By A. Kusserow
What are tough and smooth individualisms? during this special ethnography of 3 groups in big apple and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and lecturers (from prosperous to these on welfare) at the kinds of demanding and delicate individualisms they motivate of their childrens and scholars. American Individualisms explores the $64000 factor of sophistication transformations within the socialization of individualism in the US. It offers American individualism no longer as one unmarried homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as frequently claimed to be, yet as variable, class-differentiated types of individualism instilled in teenagers by way of their mom and dad and preschool academics in ny and Queens. via offering wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with tremendously assorted visions of the long run, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and conventional discussions of yank individualism.
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Extra resources for American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods
He writes, ‘‘Although less often and openly discussed, social class differences in self-expression within American society are as profound and signiﬁcant as ethnic and cultural differences’’ (1995:248). He sites Lisa Delpit (1996), who suggests, for example, that by conceptualizing self expression as natural behavior, as part of one’s true/real self, rather than as something learned and taught, the whole process that middle-class children go through to learn this type of self-expression becomes ungraspable and mysterious to African American children.
Basing her work on that of Bernstein before her, Miller (1989) studied the linguistic codes used in day care centers from different social classes. In her study of two-year-olds in four day care centers, Miller’s focus was on the differing linguistic codes and strategies for social control used by the teachers. She found that the working-class day care center was characterized by a restricted linguistic code (context-dependent meanings, few linguistic markers, nonliteral speech) and positional social control (imperative commands, hierarchical structure, adult-centered curriculum, and gender differentiation).
MacLeod (1987), in his ethnography of working-class males in the northeast city of Clarendon Heights, also talks back to overly simplistic social reproduction theorists (namely Bowles and Gintis, 1976, in Schooling in Capitalist America) who emphasize the role of educational tracking in the process of class reproduction by describing the ways in which two groups of boys (the black ‘‘Brothers’’ and the white ‘‘Hallway Hangers’’) from the same social class, living in the same housing project, and attending the same school ‘‘nevertheless experience the process of social reproduction in fundamentally different ways’’ (MacLeod, 1987:137).
American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods by A. Kusserow