The Norman Transcript

University

February 14, 2014

Lareau says class differences affect upward mobility

NORMAN — Child rearing may cast a long, powerful shadow over one’s upward mobility, according to research on classes differences.

Inequality and the American family was the focus of Dr. Annette Lareau’s lecture Thursday night. Lareau spoke as a guest of a University of Oklahoma Presidential Dream Course.

Lareau is the author of “Unequal Childhoods, Unequal Adults: Class, Race and Family Life.” She is the Stanley I. Sheerr professor of social sciences and professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She also is the president of the American Sociological Association.

Her award-winning book is based on participant observation of families with children in the third and fourth grades. “Unequal Childhoods” demonstrates that middle-class parents seek to develop their children’s talents and skills through a series or organized activities, reasoning and language development and close supervision of their experiences in school.

Lareau’s original study looked at 12 families of working and middle-class families. The study consisted of 20 visits in one month, with each visit lasting two to three hours. Performing the study, Lareau’s team found their presence had an impact on behavior, but that impact subsided over time.

The biggest differences Lareau found between working and middle-class families was time use, language use and intervention in institutions.

As an example, Lareau described one visit to the doctor with a middle-class family in which the child was encouraged to ask the doctor questions. Lareau compared that to a doctor’s visit with a working-class family in which the child was told to be quiet throughout. Her findings demonstrated that in that instance, the level of trust the parents had was different and that the middle-class child was taught a sense of entitlement.

Ten years after her original study, Lareau performed a follow-up study to see if her findings were consistent and had the same impact on young adulthood. Lareau said her follow-up study suggests that class differences continue and grow in significance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
University
  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Courses bring unprecedented enrollment

    University students majoring in engineering, science and mathematics typically enroll in college-level computer courses, like computational thinking and computer programming. Now, with Janux online courses offered at the University of ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Leaders, industry experts discuss U.S. energy security and its impact around world

    Intellectual dialogue was sparked Thursday between students, professors and industry experts about the impact of the U.S.’s increasing energy supply at the Price College of Business Energy Institute’s Energy Symposium. The Symposium, ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Development scholar to speak

    Geographer Diana Liverman will present a public lecture about global poverty in the Anthropocene, the proposed new geological epoch defined by the impacts of human activity....

    April 11, 2014

  • OU College of Medicine announces psychiatry chair

    Britta Ostermeyer, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.P.A., has been named professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. She also has the Paul and Ruth Jonas Chair in Psychiatry and has ...

    April 10, 2014

  • OU junior wins debate honors

    Furthering his achievement in the University of Oklahoma’s Shannon Self Debate Program, University of Oklahoma junior Rashid Campbell earned the title of First Speaker at the National Debate Tournament hosted by Indiana University. ...

    April 10, 2014

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma to celebrate centennial

    Active members and alumna of Beta Theta Kappa Kappa Gamma will participate in a weekend event to celebrate the chapter’s 100th anniversary....

    April 10, 2014