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Download Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition, with an Update a Decade Later Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition, with an Update a Decade Later Audiobook, by Annette Lareau Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (708 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annette Lareau Narrator: Xe Sands Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9781452674711
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Class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children. Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously-as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children. The first edition of Unequal Childhoods was an instant classic, portraying in riveting detail the unexpected ways in which social class influences parenting in white and African-American families. A decade later, Annette Lareau has revisited the same families and interviewed the original subjects to examine the impact of social class in the transition to adulthood. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a careful and interesting investigation of life in ‘the land of opportunity’ and the ‘land of inequality.’”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] sensitive, well-balanced book.”

    Library Journal

  • A fascinating study. Malcolm Gladwell
  • “Annette Lareau has written another classic. Her deep insights about the social stratification of family life and childrearing have profound implications for understanding inequality.”

    Adam Gamoran, professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AJ | 2/18/2014

    " Good read, although her findings on motherhood may be colored by the fact that she herself is not a mother "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 2/16/2014

    " some interesting findings but extremely repetitive, she beats you over the head with the message "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/22/2014

    " It was an interesting ethnography of 12 families. I found it interesting. I need more information about the process of conducting ethnographies and conclusions drawn from such studies. Her assertion of parenting styles of middle class vs. working/poor classes (concerted cultivation vs. accomplishment of natural growth)I found intriguing. I think it is worth reading by teachers and human service professionals. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis | 1/19/2014

    " Makes some good points, but the author's tripping all over herself trying to avoid siding with the middle class was hard to take. She says several times that physical punishment used to be the norm--as though this makes it okay? I mean she shows plenty of concern that one of the children can barely read even though illiteracy "would have been virtually universal in certain time periods" (as she says of the practice of hitting children). I mean I appreciate her point that most books of this type are going to be written by middle class people so we have to try to avoid normalizing that culture, but her attempts are clumsy. Another example is that middle class children's "sense of entitlement" is consistently used to explain why they feel comfortable asking questions of a doctor. Really? We need to stigmatize the ability to properly interact with a doctor? Though she mentions a working-class person's ability, in contrast, to argue with a landlord or cable company, she does not talk about a sense of entitlement to explain the behavior in those cases. I end up feeling that the book begs the questions. Yes, the middle class is in sync with major cultural institutions and this gives them advantages. But discussions of what stops others from doing the same don't precisely tie into the thesis. Yes, economic constraints keep their children from expensive extracurriculars. Yes, the parents' education and occupational experience limits their understanding of professional jargon (a point that really could have been made more of in the "What is to be done" section). But the author seems to admit that these have to do with socioeconomic status. Why the working-class and poor families can't make cultural adjustments, the way the middle-class did, like not physically punishing their children or asking them questions to improve their verbal skills is an explanation that is started but never really resolves. Maybe the problem is that if I took a test on this book I would have trouble answering the question "How did the researchers determine a subject's class?" If class is based on cultural things, then a working-class person performs what the author wants to call working-class culture _by definition_. Thus the difficulty of discussing class in America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alycia | 1/15/2014

    " (just a few chapters for class) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/15/2014

    " Very academic in nature. A good look at different parenting styles and the advantages they give a child. Much prefered and still we rise as far as insight to low income familes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Perla Ni | 1/15/2014

    " Excellent book and a lively read. We take a lot of our notions of what is childhood for granted. Different social classes have very different notions of what is necessary for a happy childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 12/6/2013

    " Such a fascinating study! I wish I had read this before my two years in the classroom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simone | 11/29/2013

    " I just re-read this for a class (I had read maybe half of it in an undergraduate class) and I think it just remains a beautiful piece of research into why class matters. It does it in this almost mundane way where they carefully document the day to day life of 12 families. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaylea | 11/23/2013

    " Excellent ethnography with quantitative backup. Good science and a fascinating tale at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tannya | 11/22/2013

    " This was such an insightful book from a parent's perspective. It discusses at great length the differences in parenting techniques and resources based on lifestyle, income, access to schools etc. etc. Although I had to read this as a text for a class, as a parent I found some really great insight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kris | 10/21/2013

    " An interesting ethnology, but showcases a completely biased researcher who makes no bones about criticizing parental decisions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay Gabler | 6/24/2013

    " A modern masterpiece of sociology. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsay Bandy | 4/9/2013

    " Another book I have to read for class. It reads very slowly. The print is small and tight, and the writer is writing to professionals in her field, not to the everyday person. The information is good, but difficult to slog through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Destinee Sutton | 4/1/2013

    " We read this in my child language development class in college, focusing on the second section which is about (duh) language. Really interesting examinations of the differences between how middle-class children are raised versus lower-class children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 1/18/2013

    " This book provides a great level of insight into the vast differences children face in their upbringing and the results of the differences. It is a little redundant, but worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 1/5/2013

    " More research heavy than I thought it would be. Interesting topic. Interesting observations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 11/15/2012

    " Amazing how societal influences shape the lives of children and either hinder or help their social mobility, confidence, and financial status. Makes me think about my own situation and where I would be (socially and psychologically) if I grew up in a different area/lifestyle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 9/4/2012

    " Great read. Informative, thorough, eye-opening. Her chapter on methodology was really helpful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela Wade | 7/18/2012

    " The best book I've read to date on class and race in America. The unexpected glimpse into parenting styles took the book from 'good' to 'great'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 6/22/2012

    " Such a well-written and interesting book to read. It addresses the inequalities between working class and middle class children and helps put words to feelings I had when I was growing up. I will always have this as a part of my book collection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 4/25/2012

    " Phenomenal. This book is a series of very interesting case studies that reads like a novel. I was hooked from start to finish, and learned SO much. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 3/22/2012

    " sociology still seems like kind of a crock to me, but this book rearranged my thinking "

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About the Author

Annette Lareau is the Stanley I. Sheerr Professor in the sociology department at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of the University of California–Santa Cruz, she earned her PhD in sociology from the University of California–Berkeley. She is the author of Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education and coeditor of Social Class: How Does it Work?, Education Research on Trial, and Journeys Through Ethnography: Realistic Accounts of Fieldwork.

About the Narrator

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of the Nightwalkers series from Jaquelyn Frank. She has received several honors, including several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a coveted Audie Award, and was named Favorite Debut Romance Narrator of 2011 in the Romance Audiobooks poll.