American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in by A. Kusserow

By A. Kusserow

What are challenging and gentle individualisms? during this distinctive ethnography of 3 groups in long island and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and academics (from prosperous to these on welfare) at the sorts of challenging and smooth individualisms they inspire of their childrens and scholars. American Individualisms explores the real factor of sophistication changes within the socialization of individualism in the US. It provides American individualism now not as one unmarried homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as usually claimed to be, yet as variable, class-differentiated versions of individualism instilled in kids via their mom and dad and preschool lecturers in new york and Queens. by way of offering wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with drastically various visions of the long run, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and usual discussions of yank individualism.

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1979:571) Thus, citing Kohn (1963b, 1969) and Bernstein (1971), she notes social class differences in childcare that act to prepare children for different jobs. Kohn (1969) notes that among the middle class, parental punishment is often based on the intent of an act, and the child’s motives, feelings, and ‘‘internal dynamics’’ become the focus, whereas among the working class, parental punishment is often based on the consequences of an act rather than the intent. Other studies have focused on the differing linguistic socialization used in different social classes.

When I watch a movie, I’ll cry, and I’ve instilled that in them. They will sit here and cry in a movie, which I think is good, even for a little boy. ’’ Others spoke of their child as being caring or understanding, sweet or kind. ’’ Hence, talk about toughness did not exclude talk about the positive aspects of being soft. But softness, if left completely unchecked, could cause people to walk all over you. Traits associated with softness or an opening up of the boundaries of the self (kindness, gentleness, sharing, empathy, selflessness, helpfulness, cooperation) minus self-respect or self-confidence was dangerous.

The very notion of subculture implies such variation. Also, though individuals may order the world through a set of ideas or meanings, their significance for individual and collective life may show qualitative differences. One does not relate to all segments of culture in the same way. (1981:111) He considers the ways public symbols simultaneously have individual psychological meaning. ‘‘There is no question of private versus public symbol: the symbol acts on both levels at the same time, the one reinforcing the other as in a cybernetic model .

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