Struggles for Modern Education: Egalitarian Liberalism and Its Quest For Equal Access to Opportunity

  •  Renee Pistone    


Annette Lareau’s sociological study entitled, Unequal Childhoods describes two very distinct types of parenting styles and roles. Lareau characterizes them as concerted cultivation and accomplishment of natural growth. The study documents how middle-class children are directed toward achievement at early ages and this is called concerted cultivation (Lareau, 2003.) The study details how middle-class children gain a significant advantage over other children because of their parents’ economic resources (Lareau, 2003). Using their economic prowess, middle-class parents foster their children’s skills and talents through this process Lareau called concerted cultivation (Lareau, 2003). Middle-class parents develop their children through after-school activities and verbal communication with their children (Lareau, 2003). Also, these parents tend to have more interactions with school officials and teachers. Therefore, communication plays a larger role within this paradigm, as Lareau states, “discussions between parents and children are the hallmark of middle-class child rearing. Like many middle-class parents, Ms.Williams and her husband see themselves as developing Alexander to cultivate his talents in a concerted fashion”(Lareau, 2003).

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