Disadvantages Of Concerted Cultivation

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The Concerted Cultivation of Superiority
Whether they chose to spoil their children with love, objects, or opportunities, parents want to give their children the best childhood to prepare them for adulthood. Typically, the middle class and upper class use a parenting method Annette Lareau calls “concerted cultivation,” meaning that parents foster children’s talents and interests. Most parents that use this style of rearing follow similar routines such as maneuvering their schedules to alote multiple extracurricular activities, emphasizing the use of vocabulary and reasoning skills, and socializing their children to be comfortable around adults. While these practices seem to be successful in creating and maintaining class reproduction, they
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70% of wealthy parents make their kids volunteer 10 hours or more a month, while only 3% of low income parents do the same (Dindar). While volunteering is generally a positive action that leads to positive outcomes to those in need, it can be problematic. Parents who use concerted cultivation encourage community service to gain resume boosters, networks, and a sense of pride in helping those who are “less fortunate.” Often the only time the upper class and middle class communities interact with low-income communities is through volunteer work. Though their very limited interactions, they form stereotypes, prejudices, and mental hierarchies of each other. Even though generosity is a virtue, installing this sense of charity can actually lead to the people who are doing the volunteer work to feel like they are superior to those they are…show more content…
In her book “Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life,” Lareau depicts a family where the eldest son’s schedule “determines where the adults must be and when they must be there, sets the timing and types of meals for everyone… and even shapes the family vacation plans” (42). In the specific story, the parents have jobs with flexible hours, so they are able to give the child the ability to participate in all of the activities that interest him. While it seems like a wonderful thing to be able to allow children to explore everything they are interested in, it can be difficult for the children to learn that their parents’ lives are also a top priority. If a child is taught to believe that their schedule is the most important part of their family life, they may struggle with someone else’s activities taking priority. Also, if the parents have more than one child then they must deal with giving equal priority to everyone, which is difficult, if not impossible. In the same chapter as previously mentioned, the parents had two younger children who openly showed their contempt for being forced to watch their brother’s activities by complaining to their parents (54). Because the oldest child’s schedule took the highest priority in the family, all the the children felt like the eldest was
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