Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Middle-class children: Squeaky wheels in training

20.08.2012
A study by Indiana University sociologist Jessica McCrory Calarco found that working-class and middle-class parents often take very deliberate -- but different -- approaches to helping their children with their school experiences.

Working-class parents, she found, coached their children on how to avoid problems, often through finding a solution on their own and by being polite and deferential to authority figures. Middle-class parents, on the other hand, were more likely to encourage their kids to ask questions or ask for help.

These self-advocacy skills taught by middle-class parents not only can help the children in school -- because these parents know that in educational settings teachers often expect and reward such behavior -- but they could help later in life in other institutional settings.

"Youth who do not learn to advocate for themselves might have more difficulty interacting with social service providers, financial service providers, legal authorities and other bureaucratic institutions," said Calarco, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in IU's College of Arts and Sciences.

Calarco will discuss her research on Sunday during the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Denver.

Her study focuses on the interaction between parents, children and teachers during the students' fourth- and fifth-grade years at a public elementary school. Her school observations took place at least twice a week, and then she interviewed the students and parents the summer following their fifth-grade year.

Conducted while Calarco was a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, the study is among the first to provide evidence that parents from different social classes teach their children different lessons about interacting with institutions. It also shows that parents help to perpetuate inequalities not only through what they do for their children, such as equipping them with different resources or opportunities, but also through what they teach children to do for themselves.

Calarco characterized both working-class and middle-class parents as "relentless" when it came to teaching their children important lessons. This sometimes even involved role-playing, when the middle-class parents wanted their children to solve their problem on their own -- but couldn't quite leave it to chance. She also found the students very receptive.

"Even very shy middle-class children learned to feel comfortable approaching teachers with questions, and recognized the benefits of doing so," she said. "Working-class children instead worried about making teachers mad or angry if they asked for help at the wrong time or in the wrong way, and also felt that others would judge them as incompetent or not smart if they asked for help. These differences, in turn, seem to stem not from differences in how teachers responded to students -- when working-class students did ask questions, teachers welcomed and readily addressed these requests -- but from differences in the skills, strategies and orientations that children learn from their parents at home."

Calarco will discuss her paper, "Training Squeaky Wheels: Social Class and Parents' Development of Children's Self-Advocacy Skills," at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 19, during the Culture and Inequality section. The study was funded in part by the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Otto and Gertrude K Pollack Foundation.

She can be reached at 484-431-8316 or JCalarco@indiana.edu. For additional assistance, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 or traljame@iu.edu

Jessica McCrory Calarco | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.indiana.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>