Book

Fast-Forward Family: Home, Work, and Relationships in Middle-Class America

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Abstract

Called "the most unusually voyeuristic anthropology study ever conducted" by the New York Times, this groundbreaking book provides an unprecedented glimpse into modern-day American families. In a study by the UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives and Families, researchers tracked the daily lives of 32 dualworker middle class Los Angeles families between 2001 and 2004. The results are startling, and enlightening. Fast-Forward Family shines light on a variety of issues that face American families: the differing stress levels among parents; the problem of excessive clutter in the American home; the importance (and decline) of the family meal; the vanishing boundaries that once separated work and home life; and the challenges for parents as they try to reconcile ideals regarding what it means to be a good parent, a good worker, and a good spouse. Though there are also moments of connection, affection, and care, it's evident that life for 21st century working parents is frenetic, with extended work hours, children's activities, chores, meals to prepare, errands to run, and bills to pay.
... For example, recent laboratory-based research has found that children younger than age 2 can help voluntarily and that requests for their assistance or incentives may undermine how and whether they help (Warneken and Tomasello, 2008, 2014Hepach et al., 2012). Yet, middle-class Europeanheritage families commonly use incentives, requests, and task assignments at younger ages (Dahl, 2015; see also Waugh et al., 2015) and at older ages when middle-class children in various communities help both minimally and reluctantly (Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013;Coppens et al., 2016). What views, assumptions, and cultural values guide the deployment of these socialization practices when they may be unnecessary or even counterproductive to children's prosocial development? ...
... For example, Tobin (1995) observes that the early childhood education settings of many middle-class communities at once value children's "authentic" or "free" expression of emotions but permit such expression only within imposed, highly scripted, and normative models of speech, interaction, and emotional experience. In a detailed ethnographic study of middle-class family life in contemporary Los Angeles (see Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), these contradictions were pervasive: the much-championed ideology that children, at least by school age, should be relatively self-reliant was rarely apparent in children's behavior in CELF households. . . Many of these middle-class parents struggled with the potentially unwanted consequences of investing in their child as the center of their attention and energy. ...
... ." on line 10) as agentic rather than continuing with the interviewer's child-as-agent-helping prompts. Both responses suggest an ethnotheory that the child's involvement originates with the caregiver's efforts to organize the child's access to opportunities to help, rather than with, for example, the child's initiative (Alcalá and Cervera Montejano, in preparation;Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). The responses also suggest an ethnotheory about children's motivation to help that assumes the necessity of firm caregiver directives (i.e., assignments caregivers "make" the child do). ...
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This study examined linguistic patterns in mothers’ reports about their toddlers’ involvement in everyday household work, as a way to understand the parental ethnotheories that may guide children’s prosocial helping and development. Mothers from two cultural groups – US Mexican-heritage families with backgrounds in indigenous American communities and middle-class European-American families – were interviewed regarding how their 2- to 3-year-old toddler gets involved in help with everyday household work. The study’s analytic focus was the linguistic form of mothers’ responses to interview questions asking about the child’s efforts to help with a variety of everyday household work tasks. Results showed that mothers responded with linguistic patterns that were indicative of ethnotheoretical assumptions regarding children’s agency and children’s prosocial intentions, with notable contrasts between the two cultural groups. Nearly all US Mexican-heritage mothers reported children’s contributions and participation using linguistic forms that centered children’s agency and prosocial initiative, which corresponds with extensive evidence suggesting the centrality of both children’s autonomy and supportive prosocial expectations in how children’s helpfulness is socialized in this and similar cultural communities. By contrast, middle-class European-American mothers frequently responded to questions about their child’s efforts to help with linguistic forms that “pivoted” to either the mother as the focal agent in the child’s prosocial engagement or to reframing the child’s involvement to emphasize non-help activities. Correspondence between cultural differences in the linguistic findings and existing literature on socialization of children’s prosocial helping is discussed. Also discussed is the analytic approach of the study, uncommon in developmental psychology research, and the significance of the linguistic findings for understanding parental ethnotheories in each community.
... Many United States parents regard raising children who help others as important (Pew Research Center [PRC], 2014). Yet white, European-heritage children tend to help in less complex ways and with less initiative than other children globally (Whiting andWhiting, 1973, 1975;Ochs and Izquierdo, 2009;Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013;Alcalá et al., 2014;Coppens et al., 2014Coppens et al., , 2016. Their parents use practices associated with limited children's helping (e.g., restricting children's opportunities to help). ...
... In those situations, parents may experience low parenting self-efficacy (PSE), defined as parents' belief that they are able to influence children toward successful development (Ardelt and Eccles, 2001). Because many UWEC parents spend a significant amount of time doing chores (Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), low PSE in this context likely contributes significantly to lower PSE overall, which is related to higher parenting stress and depression (Bugental et al., 1993;Crnic and Ross, 2017). Further, PSE has been related to observed parenting behaviors, (e.g., responsivity and sensitivity), as well as child outcomes, including attachment status and emotion and behavior problems (Williams et al., 1987;Bugental and Cortez, 1988;Donovan et al., 1990;Coleman and Karraker, 1998;Jones and Prinz, 2005;Rominov et al., 2016;Wittkowski et al., 2017). ...
... UWEC parents tend to focus on self-care tasks vs. tasks helping the whole family (Ochs and Izquierdo, 2009;Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013;Coppens et al., 2016). They often control and assign children's contributions and from early on, separate children from household work (Morelli et al., 2003;Ochs and Izquierdo, 2009;Alcalá et al., 2014;Coppens et al., 2016;Coppens and Rogoff, 2017;Rogoff et al., 2017). ...
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Helping others benefits both helper and helpee and is the basis for societal structures that promote collective well-being. Many parents Using a White, European-heritage “Constellation of practices” (UWEC), recognize the importance of raising a child who helps others. Yet UWEC children seem to take initiative to help with household work less, and in ways that benefit others less, than other children globally. It is important for future researchers to explore the phenomenon of many UWEC parents using practices that work against their explicit goals, and suggestions are made for future work, including better integration of cross-cultural evidence in developmental psychological study design. Better integrating evidence and exploring this conflict further would greatly advance our understanding of the socialization of helping, and may elucidate how much change is possible and advisable regarding how best to raise children to think and act in other-oriented ways that are beneficial for all.
... The data analyzed in this article were collected as part of a larger ethnographic study (initiated in the U.S but then duplicated to various degrees in Sweden, Italy, and France) of everyday lives of middle-class, dual earner families that aimed to investigate the exigencies of raising a family while managing two paid jobs (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). To this end, two videographers filmed family members in the home from the moment children returned from school and parents from work until the children went to bed. ...
... The ethnographic approach provides a unique means for investigating social phenomena in their 'natural' context and for understanding the "logic of practice[s]" in ordinary life (Bourdieu, 1990(Bourdieu, [1977). Ethnography gives insight into families' day-to-day experiences and shows how culture-specific beliefs are taken for granted, affirmed, negotiated or rejected in the situated unfolding of everyday life (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). As researchers and cultural insiders we have had the advantage of drawing on shared understanding and knowledge to interpret the cultural frameworks presupposed in participants' interactions and discern the meanings that they attribute to their actions. ...
Article
Studies often suggest that the family meal is the locus for the acquisition of healthy eating habits. However, these studies rarely offer a deeper understanding of what it is about eating together as a family that increases the intake of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. This ethnographic study examines dinners in French households, whose children have shown to habitually consume fruits and vegetables, analyzing talk around the dinner table. Our analysis shows that naturally occurring exchanges between parents and children socialize children to experiencing eating in culturally informed ways that promote attending to the prized characteristics, such as origin, quality, taste, and preparation of food items that intrinsically elevates their value and leads to their consumption. These communicative patterns also encourage reflection and openness to foods, which, we posit, constitute ways of ‘doing being French’. Ultimately, we argue that French children's readiness to eat fruits and vegetables is not linked to them being healthy, but rather is derived from the cultural significance of experiencing sensory pleasure from food and from being able to talk about and share these experiences with others, that is being reflective eaters.
... A widespread cultural difference in the organization of childhood is whether children are integrated collaboratively in the range of mature activities of their communities or are segregated from mature endeavors and are instead limited to child-specialized activities. We present and expand upon a growing literature indicating that distinct paradigms of participation in family and community life shape children's opportunities for learning and prosocial development, especially their learning to help and collaborate responsibly with others (Rogoff 2016; see also Rogoff 2003; Paradise and Rogoff 2009 for reviews, and Lareau 2000; Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik 2013;Zelizer 1985, for related work). In a collaborative integration paradigm, adults often guide and facilitate children's substantial voluntary contributions to mutual productive endeavors. ...
... The research on LOPI is based in the practices of Indigenous and Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas, where integration appears to be routinely collaborative. In a segregation paradigm, adults often attempt to control children's involvement and delimit children's contributions, managing children's individualized efforts (see Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik 2013;Paradise et al. 2014). This seems to be a common way of organizing childhood in many communities where extensive schooling has been prevalent for generations. ...
... A canonical tool for data storage would be a mobile app where numbers were logged. A novel tool for coping with numerical information was a hanging shoe rack in the pantry that contained various pre-packaged and pre-computed snack sorted by the number of carbohydrates in a serving (see Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013 for discussion of the importance of pre-packaged snacks in structuring food consumption in middle class families). These episodes were identified, reviewed, and summarized. ...
... Reluctantly, Phoebe accepted the granola bar. While this brief transaction is partly a case of a child negotiating with a prepackaged snack (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), this conversation was representative of the conversations related to carb and insulin matching that would transpire during the observations. These involved explicit quantification of carbs and blood sugar and then approximations of what would be appropriate numbers of carbs to raise blood sugar levels from what they were currently to the desired range. ...
Article
This article reports on an exploratory study of quantitative data use situated in families’ management routines while taking care of a child with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D treatment requires frequent measurement and recording of numerical data about blood sugar concentration, nutritional intake, and insulin dosage at the child’s home, at school, and at other activities. We analyze coordination work between family members and others involved in the care of children with T1D using the lens of distributed cognition, and we introduce the notion of a data catchment to refer to the pathways of data flow and information storage within and between multiple agents and spaces. Interviews and observations reveal three main features of storage and use in data catchments: First, there is a great variability in how data move and are retained to enable communication between family members and others. Second, families tended to focus more on individual data points and less on aggregate readings despite some indications of ability to narrate through aggregate readings. Third, families engage in recurrent conversations and sometimes use novel artifacts to make numerical values meaningful to children with T1D. Implications for understanding this space of practice as constituting a data catchment are discussed.
... Such lowered expectations may have contributed to a diminished perception regarding maternal engagement in schooling. In the U.S., on the other hand, educational attainment continues to be seen as essential for economic security, and parents are adopting increasingly " intensive " strategies for supporting their children's academic progress (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). The third goal of our study was to determine the independent contribution of maternal role construction, parenting self-efficacy, and perceived teacher invitations in these various forms of parental engagement in these two nations, as well as to examine whether one or more of these theoretical determinants was more important in one nation than another. ...
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In spite of evidence indicating the benefits of parental engagement for chil-dren's achievement, little is known about the factors that contribute to parental engagement in countries outside the United States. In this study, we addressed this gap in the literature by examining teachers' outreach in addition to maternal psychological elements (maternal role construction and parenting self-efficacy) in predicting Japanese and American mothers' home-and school-based engagement at the second grade level. We found that these factors uniquely and significantly contributed to home-based engagement (homework supervision and engagement in cognitive activities) and school-based engagement in both countries. Furthermore, these factors accounted for between-country differences in the extent of home-based engagement. Between-country differences in school-based engagement remained significant even after the three factors were entered, suggesting a need for additional theorizing in contexts outside the U.S. Findings of this study also highlight the importance of teacher invitations in stimulating parents' engagement.
... Involving families with their children in learning activities at home, including homework and other curriculum-related activities and decisions (24). Including families as participants in school decisions, governance, and advocacy through school councils, communities, and other parent organizations (25). Coordinating community resources and services for students, families, agencies, and other groups that provide services to the community (26). ...
Article
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Introduction: Parental involvement includes several different forms of participation in school education. Parents can support their children schooling by attending school functions and responding to school obligations. They can become more involved in helping their children improve their school work-providing encouragement, arranging for appropriate study time and space, modeling desired behavior, monitoring homework, and actively tutoring their children at home. Aim: The aim of this survey was to spread awareness about parental involvement in academics. Materials and methods: A questionnaire was distributed through an online google form link to about 100 people. The study population was asked to fill out the online form. Descriptive statistics were performed to evaluate the frequency and percentages of these variables. Age was stratified into various groups at many intervals. The other features such as sex, location, age and gender and their outcomes were analyzed. Chi square test was done using the SPSS software to find the relationship between the data such as age, sex, gender, and location. Results: The results were collected and the data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and p value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. From the study population, the whole of 100% of the participants gave a positive response when asked if they were aware of parental involvement in academics. Conclusion: With the limitations of the study, we conclude that the effect of parental involvement in academics were majority of the study population is aware of parental involvement in academics. Females are more aware about the effects of parental involvement in academics than males.
... Like all guiding ideologies which were never consciously determined but merely arose through drift, contingency, and complex systemic interactions, this brings unintended consequences, many of which are negative even within the system itself?from family stress A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t 23 to suicide among high-achieving kids (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013; Rosin, 2015), and the conscious prescriptions are always underdetermined. That is to say, by developing prescriptive " learning outcomes " for childhood, akin to the " learning outcomes " that university faculty are now expected to specify, many of the features that actually account for success in life?sense of humor, appealing physical appearance, subtle awareness of shifting linguistic codes, and now resiliency?are not included, and some may not even be teachable. ...
Article
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Claiming to rely on “science,” many well-intentioned “experts” offer advice on how to “close the gap”—word gap, language gap, achievement gap—between disadvantaged and advantaged children. Based on both research and personal experience, this advice promises magic solutions to apparently complex and intractable problems by coaching disadvantaged parents in how best to speak to their young children. One significant shortcoming, however, is that the research is often circular, mistaking correlation and causation, and it is based on limited populations—what Henrich et al. 2010 termed WEIRD populations of Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic people, often majority undergraduate college students in North America. The unseen assumptions about what is “natural” or “optimal” may be evident when cross-cultural evidence is brought to contrast with the assumed proper way to socialize children into language—ways familiar to white, middle-class, professional North American practitioners. This article reveals three of the dominant ideologies governing the “gaps” discourse: parochial understandings of language, childhood, and learning. Ultimately, I argue that accepting diverse aspects of all these concepts can give rise to flourishing human beings.
... Scholarship on family in Europe and the US has repeatedly demonstrated that kinship arrangements diverge significantly from idealized notions of nuclear families (Déchaux 2003;Gulløv et al. 2015;Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik 2013;Gillis 1996). But the ways in which individuals evaluate and experience kinship are nonetheless shaped by these normative images of family, institutionalized in law and everyday language. ...
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Scholarship on transnational families has regularly examined remittances that adults abroad send to children in their country of origin. This article illuminates another permutation of these processes: family members in Senegal who establish relations with and through children in France through gifts and money. Focusing on relationships between children in Paris and their family members in Dakar, it provides an insight into the everyday exchanges through which transnational families attempt to assure the material reproduction of households in Africa. I trace the ways in which children use Facebook to maintain relationships with relatives in Senegal and examine how adults shape these relations. Focusing specifically on innovative forms of ‘cross-cousin’ relationships in the Senegalese diaspora, this article illustrates how adults create cultural scaffolding around children who may be unaware of the kinship terms for the relationships in which they are implicated. I demonstrate how practices that have permitted Africans to weather economic volatility for centuries are now carried out, in part, through social media. Approaching material circulation and the transmission of cultural values as mutually imbricated processes, I demonstrate how Senegalese selectively reinforce links with certain family members, in an attempt to favourably position themselves in socio-economic networks of transnational kin.
... Specifically, we draw on our analysis of a rich corpus of data on families' everyday lives, including their new media practices. Building, in part, on our previous UCLA study on the middle class lives of working families in Los Angeles (Gutiérrez, Izquierdo, & Kremer-Sadlik, 2010;Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), the present study was interested in the learning that occurs in people's movement across everyday practices (i.e., learning as movement) and the resulting repertoires of practices that are constructed and leveraged across time and space. ...
Article
This article addresses an approach to design-based research informed by cultural historical activity theory and ecological approaches to inquiry in which historicity, pro-lepsis, remediation, diversity and equity, transformability, resilience, and sustainability are organizing design principles. Social design-based experiments seek to co-design learning ecologies in which learning is made equitable and consequential for youth from nondominant communities. In this article, we focus on the ways the design of El Pueblo Mágico, an after-school STEAM-oriented 5th Dimension program, involved saturating the environment with new tools and forms of assistance and privileged intergenerational learning to engage youth and their university amigxs in new technology-mediated practices. In particular, we examine how designing around the leading activity of play opened up opportunities for youth to engage in consequential forms of learning across El Pueblo Mágico and home practices, as well as how digital tools and practices traveled and mediated new learning for young learners. This article addresses an approach to design-based research informed by cultural historical activity theory and ecological approaches to inquiry in which historic-ity, prolepsis, re-mediation, diversity and equity, transformability, resilience, and sustainability are organizing design principles (Gutiérrez, 2016, 2018). Social design-based experiments (SDBEs) seek to co-design learning ecologies with relevant
... The research on LOPI is based in the practices of Indigenous and Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas, where integration appears to be routinely collaborative. In a segregation paradigm, adults often attempt to control children's involvement and delimit children's contributions, managing children's individualized efforts (see Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik 2013;Paradise et al. 2014). This seems to be a common way of organizing childhood in many communities where extensive schooling has been prevalent for generations. ...
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This chapter discusses two cultural paradigms of children’s involvement in family and community endeavors that channel many aspects of children’s everyday lives and their families’ approaches to child rearing. One paradigm – in which children are segregated from many family and community endeavors – is commonly assumed in scholarship on children’s development to characterize childhood generally, but this paradigm is likely to be limited to highly schooled communities like those of many researchers. In a distinct paradigm that occurs in some communities in which Western schooling has not been prevalent, children are integrated as valued, mutual contributors in family and community endeavors. Theories of motivation and prosocial development do not yet adequately account for learning paradigms related to children’s integration as collaborative contributors in mature endeavors. The chapter examines how each paradigm organizes children’s contributions in everyday household work, with an illustration of cultural differences between two communities in Mexico. It appears that in the paradigm where children are integrated as collaborative contributors in shared, mutual family responsibilities, children regularly take initiative to make complex prosocial contributions and their mothers value their helpfulness. By contrast, it appears that in the paradigm where children are segregated from mature family responsibilities, they contribute minimally, they seldom take initiative in family work, and their mothers assign them their “own” chores to do and rarely expect children’s help without adult management. Our chapter considers the potential ramifications of the segregation or collaborative integration of children in meaningful and mutual roles in family and community endeavors.
... In addition, the argumentative skills are the foundation upon which children can develop their role of arguers also outside the family context. As already observed by Ochs and colleagues (Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013;Ochs et al., 1996;Ochs and Schieffelin, 2011) and by Pontecorvo and colleagues (Pontecorvo and Arcidiacono, 2010;Pontecorvo and Pirchio, 2000;Pontecorvo and Sterponi, 2002), the importance of these skills needs to be examined also considering different daily activities relevant for child's development such as the school context during the interactions with other adults and peers in order to illuminate other relevant areas of adult-child argumentative dynamics. Focusing on interaction, argumentation can combine constructivist development with close discursive and psychological analyses: the method of analysis adopted in this work has allowed a detailed study of discursive sequences between parents and children in a multiparty setting interaction. ...
... For example, they frequently engage their children in lessons and school-like discourse formats, including questions with known answers (Rogoff et al., 1993). Rather than children joining adults in work and social activities, in middle-class communities, adults often engage in children's play and child-focused exercises, in which they manage young children's attention and help them practice school-relevant skills in play (Haight, 1991; Harkness, 1977; Lareau, 2011; Martini, 1995; Morelli et al., 2003; Ochs & Kramer-Sadlik, 2013). For example, middle-class mothers in the United States and Turkey more often engaged their toddlers in language lessons and school-like quizzes about properties of objects than did mothers in a tribal community in India and a Mayan community in which schooling was not prevalent (Rogoff et al., 1993 ). ...
... The data consisted of 6,129 noun types and 30,257 noun tokens in language input and 1,072 noun types and 5,360 noun tokens in children's productions. The families in this study were selected from a larger sample of 32 middle-class, two-parent families who participated in a study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF; Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). For our analyses, we selected all families that included a child older than a year and younger than four and a half years old. ...
Article
Children learn what words mean from hearing words used across a variety of contexts. Understanding how different contextual distributions relate to the words young children say is critical because context robustly affects basic learning and memory processes. This study examined children's everyday experiences using naturalistic video recordings to examine two contextual factors-where words are spoken and who speaks the words-through analyzing the nouns in language input and children's own language productions. The families in the study (n = 8) were two-parent, dual-income, middle-class families with a child between 1 year, 3 months to 4 years, 4 months (age M = 3 years, 5 months) and at least one additional sibling. The families were filmed as they interacted in their homes and communities over 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days. From these videos, we identified when the focal child was exposed to language input and randomly selected 9 hr of contiguous speech segments per family to obtain 6,129 noun types and 30,257 noun tokens in language input and 1,072 noun types and 5,360 noun tokens in children's speech. We examined whether the words that children heard in more variable spatial and speaker contexts were produced with greater frequency by children. The results suggest that both the number of places and the number of speakers that characterized a child's exposure to a noun were positively associated with the child's production of that noun, independent of how frequently the word was spoken. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Specifically, our analysis of a rich corpus of data on families' everyday lives, including their new media practices, has engaged "new ways of seeing." Building, in part, on our previous University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), study on the middle-class lives of working families in Los Angeles (Gutiérrez, Izquierdo, & Kremer-Sadlik, 2010;Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), the present study was interested in the learning that occurs in people's movement across everyday practices (i.e., learning as movement) and the resulting "repertoires of practices" that are constructed and leveraged across time and space. ...
... The idea of the baby going home to its family is especially easy for both Israeli and US children to understand, as the idea of children being away from home at daycare or school and then returning home is a normative familial practice when parents work. As Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik (2013) suggest, part of what families "do" in middle-class America is to follow a daily pattern of being apart for at least six hours a day during the work and school week and then to "come home." This idea that babies can be away from home and their parents and then return home is evoked to explain that "caring for" the baby in their home does not make their home its permanent place of belonging. ...
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This paper explores how surrogates negotiate the meaning of familial belonging and family identity when they discuss surrogacy with their husband, children, and other relatives. We suggest that surrogacy necessitates reflexive explication of what a family is and how this family is implicated in surrogacy. Our comparative study analyzes ethnographic data on Israeli and US surrogates to illuminate key similarities in surrogates’ strategies vis-a-vis their husband and children, pointing to the importance of daily family practices in how people understand family belonging. First, we map out the ways surrogates engage their husbands in order to gain their support and protect their nuclear family unit before entering the process. Next, we look at how surrogates explain surrogacy to their children in efforts to clarify siblingship and the boundaries between the two families, and to make surrogacy into an educational family project. We analyze the metaphors and rituals in surrogates’ family-bounding practices.
... One main one, I would think, is the effect of segregating children from community life by sending them to school and thus separating them from adult work . The middle-class child-centric organization of family life involves radically different attentional ecologies with children having their own spaces and times to play, to do school homework, to engage in self-care activities, and to minimally contribute, as a result, to family endeavors (Ochs & Izquierdo, 2009;Ochs & Kemer-Sadlik, 2013). If our Mayan children had toys, leisure time, and adults playing with them, they would probably pay less attention to the activities where looms, machetes, or flowers come to life. ...
Chapter
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This chapter examines Mayan children's initiatives in creating their own learning environments in collaboration with others as they engage in culturally relevant endeavors of family and community life. To this end, I carry out a fine-grained ethnographic and linguistic analysis of the interactional emergence of learning ecologies. Erickson defines learning ecology as a socioecological system where participants mutually influence one another through verbal and nonverbal actions, as well as through other forms of semiotic communication (2010, 254). In analyzing learning ecologies, I adopt a "theory of action" approach, taking into account multimodal communication (e.g., talk, gesture, gaze, body positioning), participants' sociospatial organization, embodied action, objects, tools, and other culturally relevant materials brought together to build action (Goodwin, 2000, 2013; Hutchins, 1995). I use microethnographic analysis (Erickson, 1992) to bring to the surface central aspects of children's agentive roles in learning through "cooperative actions" (Goodwin, 2013) and "hands-on" experience (Ingold, 2007) the skills of competent members of their community. I examine three distinct Learning Ecologies created by children's initiatives among the Mayan children that I observed: (i) children requesting guidance to collaborate in a task, (ii) older children working on their own initiative with subsequent monitoring and correction from competent members, and (iii) children with near competence in a task with occasional monitoring and no guidance. I argue that these findings enrich and add power tomodels of family- and community-based learning such as Learning by Observing and Pitching In (Rogoff, 2014).
... However, many household practices such as cooking are mainly based on situated and embodied routines, which can hinder engagement in promoted practices (van Kesteren and Evans 2020). Moreover, present child-centered "intensive parenting", together with family members' overlapping practices (e.g., paid work, shopping, transporting, cooking, cleaning, exercising) cause complex scheduling and negotiations concerning situationally appropriate practices Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik 2013). When preparing food, people resolve different situations by mixing and flexibly applying both convenience food and raw ingredients, which simultaneously transforms the definitions of cooking (Halkier 2010(Halkier , 2017Wolfson et al. 2017). ...
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The article analyses engagements in home cooking from a practice theoretical perspective. The focus on engagements reveals what people regard as worthy of doing and as appropriate cooking performances in specific everyday situations. For producing a more nuanced account of situationally appropriate cooking, the theoretical perspective is complemented by Thévenot’s regimes – familiarity, planning and justification. The data consist of videos and video-stimulated recall (SR) interviews: five Finnish families with children video-recorded their dinner-cooking for one week using wearable cameras and described their performances in the SR interviews. We applied an abductive theory-based and data-driven analysis. The results show that the regime of familiarity sustains cooking performances and that the regime of justification addresses negotiations of common good. However, the regime of planning appeared to be the most crucial: through flexible planning, the participants strived for a balance between maintaining familiarity and negotiating justification to achieve satisfaction. Planning was enacted in different time spans: in action, tentatively and anticipatorily. The variations of planning may offer new insights into promoting changes in families’ food practices. Overall, we suggest that an analysis of engagements by this method combination enables understanding of how families navigate through everyday life to perform situationally appropriate cooking.
... Specifically, our analysis of a rich corpus of data on families' everyday lives, including their new media practices, has engaged "new ways of seeing." Building, in part, on our previous University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), study on the middle-class lives of working families in Los Angeles (Gutiérrez, Izquierdo, & Kremer-Sadlik, 2010;Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), the present study was interested in the learning that occurs in people's movement across everyday practices (i.e., learning as movement) and the resulting "repertoires of practices" that are constructed and leveraged across time and space. ...
... Technological advancements have also allowed for more objective means of sampling experience, such as through video cameras placed in the home (Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013) or small devices known as Electronically Activated Recorders (EAR; Mehl, Pennebaker, Crow, Dabbs, & Price, 2001) designed to unobtrusively record ambient sounds in participants' environment as they go about their day. These methods could be combined with diaries to assess whether measurement-related changes in self-reports are reflected in actual behaviors. ...
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Methodological challenges associated with measurement reactivity and fatigue were addressed using diary data collected from mothers (n = 47), fathers (n = 39), and children (n = 47; 8-13 years) across 56 consecutive days. Demonstrating the feasibility of extended diary studies with families, on-time compliance rates were upward of 90% for all family members, with only minor within-person declines in weekday compliance over time. Multilevel models revealed slight decreases in mother and father daily reports of parent-child conflict and warmth across days, suggesting possible measurement reactivity. Global perceptions of parent-child involvement, measured via a 1-time survey at baseline, moderated change in parent, but not child, diary reports of conflict and warmth. Finally, weakening agreement between mother and child diary reports of conflict and strengthening of positive within-person associations between child-reported negative mood and same-diary ratings of parent-child conflict indicate potential fatigue-related declines in response accuracy. Although generally minimal, observed measurement effects highlight the need for additional methodological research in the study of everyday family life. (PsycINFO Database Record
... In the CELF study (e.g. Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013), all research teams that participated in the home data collection were trained in ethnographic observation and were following a shared protocol that supported decision making in the field. ...
Chapter
When planning a qualitative study across cultural contexts, one is faced with various theoretical and methodological challenges. One of the biggest challenges is how to take into account the complexity of different cultural life worlds and how to decide on specific dimensions to be studied. The chapter discusses theoretical aspects that are relevant in designing such studies as well as the implications for practice. We will provide an overview of existing studies using qualitative research designs across cultural contexts and current developments in the field. We will discuss underlying concepts of culture in different disciplines, e.g. psychology, sociology, anthropology and how they affect the research design. We will then address aspects like comparison (e.g. What is the purpose of comparing? What is it that we compare? What can be compared?), sampling strategies, obstacles and chances occurring in and through field work in culturally distinct environments, (im-)possibilities of qualitative research in linguistically diverse contexts, ethical aspects, as well as challenges in the processing and analysis of the material. We will provide practical examples from research within the field of Cultural Psychology. We will close with a discussion of the contribution to the design of qualitative research more generally and give an outlook for future research.
... The processes of language-mediated culture acquisition, using sociolinguistic methods, are essential to understand the process of 'becoming a speaker of culture' (Ochs, 2002) and are central in anthropology. Film and video records of childhood are invaluable for comparative studies of cultural activities, emotional expression, daily routines and activities, the physical environment of the home, and patterns of gaze and attention, for example (Ochs and Kremer-Sadlik, 2013). The cumulative cross-cultural ethnographic record of the lives of children and parents around the world is a unique, invaluable, and remarkable contribution to the scientific study of childhood and human development (Lancy, 2008; LeVine, 2007). ...
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Anthropologists believe that the most important influence in human development is the ecological and cultural setting within which a child will grow up. The anthropological study of childhood documents and accounts for the variety of childhoods found around the world, using comparative ethnographic evidence to test hypotheses about human development. It also studies the mechanisms in child, family, and community life for the acquisition, internal transformations, sharing, and intergenerational transmission of culture. Most importantly, it does this with close attention to the everyday contexts and routines of life, experience, meanings, intentions, and beliefs and goals of the communities, parents, families, and children themselves.
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In this paper, we examine the role of time in shaping decision-making processes in a town meeting, a type of legislative body common in many New England towns. Town meetings are one of the oldest and most democratic institutions of local governance in the United States, and they provide a rich arena in which to investigate how large groups of people convene and make decisions together. A mixed-methods approach enabled our team of researchers to gain insight into the processes and dynamics that played out in one town meeting. We analyze the tensions between democratic values of “taking time” vs. “being efficient.” The dynamics are particularly compelling because of an absence of the typical two parties that dominate U.S. political culture. Attitudes toward time closely aligned with voting behaviors. Our study concludes that, even in the context of a culturally and economically homogenous New England town-meeting membership, orientations to temporality are contested and meaningful. Situated historically, these orientations reflect citizens’ embrace or rejection of “time-thrift” and suggest implications for participatory democracy.
Chapter
In recent decades, there has been a rise in dual-career families as women have increasingly entered the paid workforce in the USA, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Accompanying these trends is a growing body of cross-disciplinary research that examines the relations between work and family, or what are commonly called “working families.” Though broad enough to describe any family in which one or more adults work, this term has been used to refer to dual-earner or employed single-parent families with children, in contrast to families where only one of two cohabiting parents is the wage earner. Much of this literature has analyzed survey data and self-reports, such as questionnaires and interviews. It is in this context that the language socialization paradigm has offered new ways of analyzing working families through careful attention to their everyday social interaction across settings within and outside the home. This research takes a distinctly ethnographic approach, revealing what working families do during their daily lives and illuminating how language socialization occurs through family activities, routines, and talk. This chapter reviews language socialization research that focuses on the work and family interface, including how postindustrial families grapple with cultural ideologies and pressures as they seek to balance work and family demands, and negotiate their children’s autonomy and dependence.
Chapter
In recent decades, there has been a rise in dual-career families as women have increasingly entered the paid workforce in the USA, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Accompanying these trends is a growing body of cross-disciplinary research that examines the relations between work and family, or what are commonly called “working families.” Though broad enough to describe any family in which one or more adults work, this term has been used to refer to dual-earner or employed single-parent families with children, in contrast to families where only one of two cohabiting parents is the wage earner. Much of this literature has analyzed survey data and self-reports, such as questionnaires and interviews. It is in this context that the language socialization paradigm has offered new ways of analyzing working families through careful attention to their everyday social interaction across settings within and outside the home. This research takes a distinctly ethnographic approach, revealing what working families do during their daily lives and illuminating how language socialization occurs through family activities, routines, and talk. This chapter reviews language socialization research that focuses on the work and family interface, including how postindustrial families grapple with cultural ideologies and pressures as they seek to balance work and family demands, and negotiate their children’s autonomy and dependence.
Article
Based on evidence drawn from longitudinal fieldwork over three decades, in this study I unpack the complex connections among the development of intergenerational intimacy, the redefinition of filial piety, and the rise of descending familism in a north China village. In the first section, I discuss the structural and functional solidarity in intergenerational relationships by examining changing patterns in household composition. Next I show that villagers have redefined the norms of filial piety by relinquishing unconditional obedience and submission from the junior to the senior generations, thus paving the way to intergenerational intimacy. In the third section, I take a closer look at the practices of intergenerational intimacy, the special role played by married women, and the blurring of the boundaries between intimacy and privacy. Next I offer a brief account of macrolevel social factors that render intergenerational intimacy important in family life and result in the rise of descending familism. I conclude by placing the case study in a comparative context and exploring the implications of intergenerational intimacy and descending familism beyond the village community.
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In this work we focus, through a multi-method approach, on the managerial practices used by working mothers to deal with complex schedules and family needs in domestic life. We know, from previous studies, that dual earner families face substantial reorganizations of their domestic life, but there has been little research on how such reorganizations are accomplished within families. Findings draw on different data sets (focus groups, self-report charts, naturally occurring interactions) and, overall, show the centrality of managerial practices in the everyday domestic life of this kind of families. Results also show that housework is an arena for practical reasoning and thinking, making visible, through a detailed analysis of the sequential unfolding of actions, the managerial practices used by mothers to exploit and interactively coordinate different and competing activities. Finally, we suggest that managerial practices may constitute a form of care work through which mothers guarantee family members’ well-being. Zusammenfassung In dieser Arbeit nehmen wir mithilfe eines Multimethodenansatzes die Managementpraxis erwerbstätiger Mütter, die diese zur Bewältigung komplexer Zeitpläne und der Bedürfnisse der Familie anwenden, in den Blick. Aus vorausgegangenen Studien wissen wir, dass Doppelverdienerfamilien einer grundlegenden Umgestaltung des häuslichen Familienlebens gegenüberstehen, wobei bisher kaum darüber geforscht wurde, wie eine solche Reorganisation innerhalb der Familien erreicht wird. Die Erkenntnisse beruhen auf verschiedenen Datensätzen (Fokusgruppen, Zeitverwendungstagebücher, Aufzeichnung von Alltagsgesprächen) und verweisen auf die zentrale Bedeutung dieser Managementpraktiken im häuslichen Alltagsleben dieser Familien. Die Ergebnisse zeigen zudem, dass die Hausarbeit eine Arena praktischer Überlegungen und Denkmuster ist. Mithilfe einer detaillierten Analyse der sequentiellen Handlungsabfolgen in der Hausarbeit werden die Managementpraktiken sichtbar, die die Mütter nutzen, um unterschiedliche und miteinander in Wettstreit stehende Aktivitäten für sich zu verwerten und zu koordinieren. Abschließend schlagen wir vor, dass diese Managementpraktiken eine Form von Care- Arbeit darstellt, durch die Mütter das Wohlergehen der Familienmitglieder sicherstellen.
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This study illuminates argumentative strategies, adopted by Italian and Swedish preschool- and school-age children in family life conversations. Even the youngest children mobilized a wide range of verbal and nonverbal resources (such as prosody, speed, volume) to emphasize the urgency of their requests. Among these children, the urgency of a need was a good enough reason to support an argument, while school-age children in addition deployed other argumentative strategies that allowed them to successfully support their refusal to perform target actions or to make parents accountable for respecting implicit contracts or other prior agreements.
Article
This article reimagines the history of parenting as a subject for the study of religion. Through a schematic description of parenting in the United States, I observe the expanded responsibilities and increased social expectations for parents in the formation of child identity. Focusing on the concept of parental authority, I argue that the relationship of authority between parent and child is an important document of religious history in a secular age, and encourage future scholars to explore parenting habits, prescriptions, and admonitions as an archive for religious studies.
Article
We examined sex differences in explicitly supportive behavior exchanges between husbands and wives using naturalistic video-recordings of everyday couple interactions inside the home. Thirty dual-earner, middle class, heterosexual couples with school-age children were recorded in their homes over 4 days. Specific instances of face-to-face explicit couple support in the video-recordings were identified, and the support role assumed by each partner (recipient vs. provider), the method of support initiation (solicitations vs. offers), and the type of support (instrumental vs. emotional) in each interaction were coded. Paired samples t tests examined sex differences in husbands’ and wives’ supportive behavior, and bivariate correlations tested the associations among spouses’ support initiation behaviors. Findings counter prior research that has largely found a “support gap” favoring husbands as support recipients. Instead, results indicate that wives received significantly more support of an instrumental nature from husbands (than husbands did from wives), a finding driven by wives’ active support-soliciting behavior. Among husbands, a tendency to be the solicitor of support was positively correlated with a tendency to offer support. Within couples, rates of offers of support by 1 spouse were correlated with offers by the partner. Naturalistic observations highlight processes that may not be detected by self-reports or laboratory data, in an ecologically valid context in which social behavior reflects the natural rhythms and pulls of everyday life.
Chapter
Home, as an object of research rather than just a background to everyday life, raises interesting methodological challenges – even more so for the experience of international migrants. This chapter provides an overview of the “what”, “why” and “how” of social research into it. A heuristic matrix for the study of home is advanced, by combining levels of analysis (views, practices, settings) with conceptual dimensions (domesticity, materiality, spatiality, temporality). The promises and pitfalls of the prevalent methodological options are discussed, as well as the potential of research via participatory and mixed methods, and in a comparative perspective. While researching migrants’ home settings and relationships raises intricacies and dilemmas, it is critical to make sense of what home means to whom; to assess the prospects for achieving it; ultimately, to counterbalance the prescriptive and ideological bases of the home discourse with empirically grounded accounts.
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Drawing upon ethnographic video-recordings of kin interactions in Chinese diaspora communities, I provide qualitative accounts of the parenting style by mothers of Chinese descent, and discuss the effect of their parenting on Chinese-American children’s development. My 72-hour digital data corpus yields evidence that a child, born to an authoritarian mother, assembles actions-in-interaction that not only position the mother high in esteem but also self-position his/her-self keenly alert to the mother’s effective power. In particular, prior to the enjoyment of, or privileged access to, leisure activities, the child will demonstrate his/her deference by initiating interactional rituals to secure parental approval; in responding to the mother’s moves of control, the child will display moral accountability by swift alignment with social impositions embedded in the mother’s control. By way of illustration, I argue that ways in which categorical power relations are orchestrated in kin interactions not only mirror mothers’ senses of themselves but also shape children’s construal of their own selves, the ones that are interdependent on other members in the family.
Book
In this completely revised and updated edition, Deconstructing Developmental Psychology interrogates the assumptions and practices surrounding the psychology of child development, providing a critical evaluation of the role and contribution of developmental psychology within social practice. Since the second edition was published, there have been many major changes. This book addresses how shifts in advanced capitalism have produced new understandings of children, and a new (and more punitive) range of institutional responses to children. It engages with the paradoxes of childhood in an era when young adults are increasingly economically dependent on their families, and in a political context of heightened insecurity. The new edition includes an updated review of developments in psychological theory (in attachment, evolutionary psychology, theory of mind, cultural-historical approaches), as well as updating and reflecting upon the changed focus on fathers and fathering. It offers new perspectives on the connections between Piaget and Vygotsky and now connects much more closely with discussions from the sociology of childhood and critical educational research. Coverage has been expanded to include more material on child rights debates, and a new chapter addresses practice dilemmas around child protection, which engages even more with the “raced” and gendered effects of current policies involving children. This engaging and accessible text provides key resources to inform better professional practice in social work, education and health contexts. It offers critical insights into the politics and procedures that have shaped developmental psychological knowledge. It will be essential reading for anyone working with children, or concerned with policies around children and families. It was also be of interest to students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across a range of professional and practitioner groups, as well as parents and policy makers.
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There is a dearth of methodological guidance on how to conduct participant observation in private spaces such as family homes. Yet, participant observations can provide deep and valuable data about family processes. This article draws on two ethnographic studies of family life in which researchers conduct in-depth interviews, recruit families, and ultimately enter the family as a quasi-stranger for daily observations lasting a fixed period (e.g., three weeks). We term this approach “intensive family observations.” Here, we provide concrete methodological advice for this method, beginning with guidelines for recruitment and gaining consent. We also discuss logistics of conducting family observation (e.g., scheduling, spatial positionality in the home, role in the field, among other issues). We elaborate on the key challenges, specifically issues of intrusion, power, and positionality. Last, we reflect on how this method provides opportunities for accurately capturing deeply intimate moments as well as unexpected insights.
Article
Children’s household contributions have been studied across cultural communities, mostly on the basis of maternal reports. Less is known about children’s views of their contributions. This study examines Yucatec Maya children’s ethnotheories of learning to help at home and their motivation for helping. We interviewed 38 7- to 11-year-old children in two communities in the Yucatán Peninsula, México. Children in both communities contributed substantially to their families by regularly taking the initiative to help with family work. Children explained that they like to help and that helping is a shared responsibility among family members. Children’s sense of belonging and responsibility to the family seemed to be the driving forces in their contributions, as they pay attention to the needs of the family and take the initiative to learn and help. These findings demonstrate the relevance of studying children’s ethnotheories to understand cultural variations on learning to help at home. Keywords: Maya children, learning to help, ethnotheories, initiative, responsibility, Learning by Observing and Pitching In.
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El presente texto examina el concepto de agencia infantil en comunidades históricas tsotsiles, de Chiapas, México, desde un enfoque émico y etnográfico basado en el seguimiento longitudinal, por tres décadas, de las trayectorias de vida de varios niños, niñas y jóvenes de estas comunidades. Inicia con una revisión del origen, desarrollo y debates en torno al concepto de agencia en el campo de estudios de las infancias en varias disciplinas como la sociología, la antropología, la psicología cultural, y la lingüística antropológica. El cuerpo del estudio toma como punto de partida la definición lingüístico-antropológica de la agencia como “la capacidad de actuar mediada socioculturalmente” (Ahearn 2001: 112). Para este fin se investigan las nociones tsotsiles relacionadas con la agencia, en particular, la voluntad y la autonomía y su expresión en diversos contextos de las vidas cotidianas en trayectorias de vida de miembros de las comunidades de estudio. Se toman como unidades de análisis una variedad de actos y eventos cotidianos de naturaleza agentiva que reflejan micro-procesos de continuidad, resistencias y cambios en los órdenes de género y generación. Estos actos revelan dinámicas entre agencia y estructura (Giddens 1984) que pueden tener diversos tipos de efecto de menor a mayor calibre en las condicionantes estructurales macro-sociológicas de género y generación. Se argumenta a favor del carácter colectivo, relacional y temporal de la agencia explicado por diversos tipos de relaciones y tensiones sociales al interior de la familia y la comunidad. La investigación etnográfica permite enmarcar los debates sobre la agencia infantil y poner de frente las condicionantes, limitaciones y posibilidades de las infancias mayoritarias, reconocer sus vulnerabilidades, pero también fomentar y potenciar sus formas de ejercicio de poder, voluntad, autonomía y participación. Justo en esas fronteras porosas es donde habitan tensiones y paradojas que no deben quedar invisibles en nuestras agendas sobre el estudio de la agencia. Palabras clave: infancia, agencia, indígenas mayas
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In March of 2019, news of the college admissions scandal broke. Opinion pieces flooded the media on how and why such a thing could have happened. Here, the author argues that the scandal is more about parenting than the institution of higher education.
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Forestalling, disputing, and postponing the main activity of eating during mealtimes comprise a routine activity for young children and present a constant challenge for parents. Indeed, securing child compliance during moments of conflict has become a notable theme in the literature on parent-child interaction. Based on a larger corpus of 35 video-recorded family meals that involves a three-year-old child and her parents, this conversation analytic study details one practice—that of conditional granting—utilized by the parents to maneuver the thorny position of responding to the child's requests for alternative food and activities. Findings contribute to the literature on parent-child interactions and that on responses to requests.
Article
Drawing on Vygotsky's insights on the sociocultural origins of development, we examine the French homestay as a site for learning, with a focus on the dinner table. Based on audio recordings of mealtime interactions, interviews, and field notes, we present two case studies of French language learners and their host families. “Amelia” lived for one semester with an “empty nest” couple whose prior experience of interacting with learners had shaped a distinct folk pedagogical style. “Irène” was hosted for a full academic year by a family of four; over the course of the year, her hosts continually and explicitly assisted her involvement in multiparty family talk thus fostering Irène's ability to display a locally appropriate participatory conversational style. Our findings underscore the importance of attending to the host family's role and contribute to the evidence suggesting that communicative repertoires emerge from, and are shaped by, particular experiences of communication. The homestay is widely believed to be a productive context for language learners abroad, yet research has not yielded evidence for a homestay advantage. What kinds of interactions take place in homestay settings? What approaches do hosts take to promote language development for their guests?
Chapter
In recent decades, there has been a rise in dual-career families as women have increasingly entered the paid workforce in the USA, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Accompanying these trends is a growing body of cross-disciplinary research that examines the relations between work and family, or what are commonly called “working families.” Though broad enough to describe any family in which one or more adults work, this term has been used to refer to dual-earner or employed single-parent families with children, in contrast to families where only one of two cohabiting parents is the wage earner. Much of this literature has analyzed survey data and self-reports, such as questionnaires and interviews. It is in this context that the language socialization paradigm has offered new ways of analyzing working families through careful attention to their everyday social interaction across settings within and outside the home. This research takes a distinctly ethnographic approach, revealing what working families do during their daily lives and illuminating how language socialization occurs through family activities, routines, and talk. This chapter reviews language socialization research that focuses on the work and family interface, including how postindustrial families grapple with cultural ideologies and pressures as they seek to balance work and family demands, and negotiate their children’s autonomy and dependence.
Article
In light of the obesity epidemic, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been extensively analyzed and criticized. Thus far, literature examining the NSLP has focused on what foods are provided rather than what is actually eaten. Additionally, there is limited research on the socialization effects of school lunch and childhood foodways within a school setting. The socialization of children during household mealtimes has been extensively studied, but these studies have been limited to the family dinner table. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to determine how children are socialized during school lunch and to examine the extent to which children understand health and nutrition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with students from a middle school in northern New Jersey. The participants were also observed during various lunch periods in the school cafeteria. Faculty members and lunch service workers were also informally interviewed. The data from the participant interviews and lunchroom observations was synthesized and the analysis of the data revealed common thematic elements: gender, nutritional discourse, commensality, and socialization mechanisms. During school lunch, children sit with students of their own gender, so male and female students are socialized differently. Observations indicate that female students are more likely to share food at the lunch table and male students are more physically active and are less likely to finish their meals. The interviews suggested that children have a basic and profound understanding of health and nutrition which is primarily learned at home. The observations suggest that the mechanism of linguistic socialization deviates from the narrative structure described in the mealtime literature; children reinforce gender roles during lunch time conversations, but their conversations follow different narrative structures. In the context of the obesity crisis, this study reveals the importance of school lunch on socialization and its effects on students’ food choices.
Chapter
This chapter addresses the aesthetical and ethical dimension of ordinary food consumption in contemporary Italy. It elaborates on a vast empirical research project, extracting from approximately 400 hours of interviews with middle-class families from the North of Italy. In particular, we consider how these families bestow value onto food by constructing its “quality”. Reference to the local territory is often employed to construct a notion of food quality that is typically set against notions of globalization and massification; likewise reference to greenness and sustainability are contrasted with industrialism and corporate interests. Green, local food is appreciated both for its aesthetic and ethic prerogatives. Quality food becomes an aesthetic and ethic dispositive used to portray visions of personal as well as family wellbeing.
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Despite growing recognition of the critical role of parents in children’s early development, parenting education programs and interventions typically have had limited impacts on children’s outcomes. To design programs and policies that are more responsive to families’ needs and constraints, policymakers need a better understanding of the lived experiences of families. In this article, we argue that qualitative video-ethnographic approaches offer an innovative and useful supplement to policy researchers’ usual tool kit. Taking a holistic approach to parent–child interactions and filming families in their natural environments over an extended period provides policy researchers with new data to inform future parenting initiatives. To assist researchers interested in undertaking a video-ethnographic study, we discuss our experiences with the New Jersey Families Study, a 2-week, in-home video study of 21 families with a 2- to 4-year-old child. This is the first time anyone has attempted an in-home naturalistic observation of this breadth, intensity, or duration. We highlight the potential of this method for policy relevance along with its associated challenges.
Article
Objective To describe children's emotion expressions, parent behavioral responses to their negative emotions, and children's subsequent emotional reactions. Background Past research typically has used questionnaires and structured laboratory studies to understand these constructs. The present study, by contrast, was designed to investigate how these behaviors unfold during families' everyday lives. Method Thirty‐one families were recorded going about their daily lives as part of a larger study of the everyday lives of families; footage of a parent and target child (8–12 years of age) together on screen was divided into 30‐second clips (N = 15,071). Children's expressions of positive and negative emotion were identified, and parent emotion coaching responses (those theorized to encourage emotion expression) and emotion dismissing responses (behaviors postulated to discourage emotion expression) to children's negative affective displays were coded. Results Multilevel modeling results indicated that children were more likely to react with negative emotion following parents' critical statements and negative commands. However, parent ignoring increased the likelihood of positive or neutral emotional reactions. Conclusion Although sometimes classified as a dismissing response, parent ignoring may facilitate opportunities to practice emotion regulation. Implications These naturalistic observations can help to inform parent training programs about differential responses to children's expressions of negative affect.
Book
This book is an ethnographically-informed interview study of the ways in which middle-class mothers from three Israeli social-cultural groups – immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Palestinian Israelis and Jewish native-born Israelis – share and differ in their understandings of a ‘proper’ education for their children and of their role in ensuring this. The book highlights the importance of education in contemporary society, and argues that mothers' modes of engagement in their children's education are formed at the junction of class, culture and social positioning. It examines how cultural models such as intensive mothering, parental anxiety, individualism, and ‘concerted cultivation’ play out in the lives of these mothers and their children, shaping different ways of participating in the middle class. The book will be of interest to anthropologists and sociologists studying mothering, education, parenting, gender, class and culture, to readers curious about daily life in Israel, and to professionals working with families in a multicultural context.
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In the United States, working middle class parents organize for their children's future success and, increasingly, extra-curricular activity becomes the socializing mechanism for this preparation. In this article, we take an anthropological approach to examine the following: 1) the nature and amount of extra-curricular activity families organize for their children; 2) the meanings parents' attribute to their children's well-being and future educational and personal success. At the same time, the augmented commitment to arranging children's lives has resulted in a new family form defined by intensified busyness as families negotiate the demands of work, home, and children's development. © Common Ground, Kris D. Gutiérrez, Carolina Izquierdo, Tamar Kremer-Sadlik.
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Analysis focuses on how utterances opposing another position in an argument are constructed with a simultaneous orientation to (a) the detailed structure of the prior utterance being opposed and (b) the future trajectories of action projected by that utterance, which the current utterance attempts to counter and intercept. Through such practices participants treat each other as cognitively complex, reflexive actors who are reshaping a contested, consequential social landscape through the choices they make as they build each next action. Data is drawn from a dispute between a father and his son who is just entering adolescence.
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This article is an exercise in historical sociology. It deals with inconsistencies, absences, and unresolved issues in understandings of children’s usefulness. Demography, histories of childhood, feminist research on housework and welfare states, time-use studies, psychology, ethnography, and “new sociology of childhood” often use incompatible notions of the productivity of children’s time and effort. What does and does not constitute work is also one of the most keenly contested issues between children and adults. Taken together, these debates and skirmishes are at the heart of fundamental social categories. They help constitute the distinction between children and adults, work and learning, self-care and helping others, current and future usefulness, academic excellence and mediocrity, paid and unpaid effort and time, home, school, and workplace, altruistic and commercial exchange. The bulk of the article deals with countries of the North and draws on English-language studies. The concluding section uses material on countries of the South to suggest that the “majority world” might be pioneering new understandings and practices of growing up. This article is an exercise in thinking through some inconsistencies, absences, and unresolved issues in social science understandings of the usefulness or otherwise of children and young people. 1 Above all, it is an exercise in historical sociology. Without attempting a comprehensive coverage of each discipline, I refer to representative historical, quantitative, ethnographic, and psychological studies to
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Within the sociology of education most conceptualizations of cultural capital within empirical research focus on high status cultural participation. A smaller, parallel body of work emphasizes much broader understandings of cultural capital in relation to education. The first part of this article maps different conceptions of cultural capital across the field of educational research before developing a conceptualization that stresses the micro-interactional processes through which individuals comply (or fail to comply) with the evaluative standards of schooling. The article also argues that the growth of policy initiatives that accentuate the role of parents in schooling have made the myriad workings of cultural capital in relation to education more visible. Within government policy parental involvement has become the means whereby schools can tap the cultural capital resources of parents in the drive to raise standards. Economic capital has always had a defining influence, but now it is increasingly possible to see the power of cultural capital especially in relation to the growing emphasis on parental involvement and parental choice, and programmes such as gifted and talented. The second part of the article draws on data from research projects that examine parental choice, gifted and talented programmes, and parental involvement more generally, to illustrate the many ways in which cultural capital operates to reproduce educational advantage. Most of the examples underscore the close relationship between cultural and economic capital and how they work to reinforce each other, but an example is also included to illustrate how cultural capital can operate independently of economic capital. The article concludes that the policy emphasis on parental involvement and initiatives to retain the middle classes within state schooling work to maximize the potential of the already advantaged and are exacerbating class inequalities in education.
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Providing as a form of paternal involvement is not readily acknowledged in contemporary fatherhood literature. Providing is often overlooked because it is taken for granted, is invisible to the family, holds negative connotations, and is inadequately conceptualized. This article expands paternal involvement to include economic provision. Providing as a form of paternal involvement is considered as it affects father, child, and family well-being. In conclusion, practice and policy implications related to an expanded view of economic provision and paternal involvement are shared.
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Focusing on everyday hygiene and household cleaning tasks, this study examines the socialization practices and parenting strategies that foster familial and cultural values such as autonomy, interdependence and responsibility. Through the micro-analysis of videotaped family interaction in Los Angeles and Rome, this article looks at actual practices and activity trajectories to reveal the ways in which families organize themselves, attach values to different aspects of activities, and build diverse perspectives on authoritativeness. The comparative analysis points to differences across cultures, families and activities in the style and amount of parental control over cleaning tasks, and the number of options given to children in the process and sequence of tasks. Examinations of diverse parenting and conversational strategies reveal how particular practices may lead to the construction or limitation of children's agency.
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Time is a multidimensional entity and research into how we allocate our time is still at an early stage of development. Food shopping and meal preparation are two related activities which involve a significant consumption of time. Reports on research into attitudes to time and investigates three different aspects of people’s attitudes towards food shopping and preparation: an enjoyment of cooking; and a traditional orientation and a modern (role-sharing) attitude to the linked activities. Identifies two clearly defined groups. No differences between the groups existed on demographic factors such as age, gender, whether the respondent had paid work and housing type. No differences existed in their ownership of time-saving consumer durables. One group clearly saw mealtimes as significant activities and found cooking enjoyable. It did not matter whether the people in this group were time-pressured or not - they chose to allocate time to these activities and they differed in their attitudes to time. A substantial group in society still do see food shopping and meal preparation as important activities. Contends that while such individuals may be subject to modern-day pressures they still appear to organize their time to maintain a traditional perspective. Considers the implications for food retailers and other marketers.
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Since gender change is reshaping work and family life, a gender lens is needed to understand work-family links and transformations. A gender lens enriches the study of work and family issues by prodding researchers to transcend gender stereotypes, to see gender as an institution, to recognize the multifaceted nature of recent social change, and to acknowledge the strengths and needs of diverse family forms. A gender framework also helps researchers focus on the link between individuals and institutions, the dynamics of social and individual change, and the structural and cultural tensions created by inconsistent change. This framework, is illustrated with selected findings from my research on young women's and men's experiences growing up in diverse families and their emerging strategies for integrating family and work.
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The literature on greetings includes several commonly made claims that require an agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a greeting exchange. I propose six criteria for identifying greetings across languages and speech communities. Applying these criteria to a speech community in Western Samoa, I identify four types of greeting exchanges there. These exchanges show, contra claims in the greetings literature, that not all greetings are devoid ofpropositional content and that they need not be "expressive" acts of the type proposed by speech act theory. In greetings, Samoans accomplish various social acts, including searching for new information and sanctioning social behavior.
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This ethnographic study investigates children's contributions to household work through the analysis of interview data and scan sampling data collected among 30 middle-class dual-earner families in Los Angeles, California. We discuss convergences and divergences between data collected with two independent methodologies: scan sampling and interviewing. Scan sampling data provide an overview of the frequency of children's participation in household work as well as the types of tasks they engaged in during data collection. Children's interview responses reflect their perceptions of their responsibilities, how they view family expectations regarding their participation in household work, and whether allowance is an effective motivator. Comparative analysis reveals that most children in our study spend surprisingly little time helping around the house and engage in fewer tasks than what they report in interviews. Within the context of children's minimal participation in household work, we find that allowance is not an effective motivator, but that children in families with access to paid domestic help tend to be less helpful than children in families without. We suggest that while most children are aware that their working parents need help, in some families, inconsistent and unclear expectations from parents negatively affect children's participation in household work.
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Abstract In this article, we examine U.S. and Italian parents' discourses on family time in parent-filled weekly activity charts and interviews with parents. Analysis indicates that in Los Angeles, California, parents talk about sheltering and isolating their nuclear family from the outside world and from everyday routine by creating special times and special activities for the nuclear family. In contrast, Roman parents' discourse allows for spontaneous times with the family that are diffused within routines and merged with other community members, institutions, and social spaces. We argue that differences displayed in parents' discourses are shaped by culturally specific orientations toward time, family, and individual versus shared responsibility. Through this cross-cultural comparison we contribute to the understanding of how local cultural models shape different ways in which parents interpret time spent in family and influence individuals' perceptions of their everyday lives. [family, time, responsibility, United States, Italy].
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Spouses' balancing of housework and leisure activities at home may affect their recovery from work. This paper reports on a study of everyday family life in which 30 dual-earner couples were tracked around their homes by researchers who recorded their locations and activities every 10 min. For women, the most frequently pursued activities at home were housework, communication, and leisure; husbands spent the most time in leisure activities, followed by communication and housework. Spouses differed in their total time at home and their proportion of time devoted to leisure and housework activities, with wives observed more often in housework and husbands observed more often in leisure activities. Both wives and husbands who devoted more time to housework had higher levels of evening cortisol and weaker afternoon-to-evening recovery. For wives, husbands' increased housework time also predicted stronger evening cortisol recovery. When both spouses' activities were entered in the same model, leisure predicted husbands' evening cortisol, such that husbands who apportioned more time to leisure, and whose wives apportioned less time to leisure, showed stronger after-work recovery. These results suggest that the division of labor within couples may have implications for physical health.
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Over the six-year period between 1997 and 2003 broad social changes occurred in the United States: welfare rules changed, the nation's school policies were overhauled, America was attacked by terrorists, and American values shifted in a conservative direction. Changes in children's time were consistent with these trends. Discretionary time declined. Studying and reading increased over the period, whereas participation in sports declined, suggesting that the increased emphasis on academics at the school level has altered children's behavior at home as well. Increased participation in religious and youth activities and declines in outdoor activities may reflect changes in parental values and security concerns. The results suggest continuation of the upward trend in reading and studying from the 1980s and early 1990s, but increased religious attendance and youth group participation rather than increased participation in sports characterized this recent period.
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Gender relations remain embedded in their sociopolitical context. Compared here using event-history analysis is how household divisions of paid and unpaid labor affect marital stability in the former West Germany, where policy reinforced male breadwinner families, and the United States, where policy remains silent regarding the private sphere. In Germany, any moves away from separate gendered spheres in terms of either wives' relative earnings or husbands' relative participation in housework increase the risk of divorce. In the United States, however, the more stable couples are those that adapt by displaying greater gender equity. These results highlight that policy shapes how gender gets done in the intimate sphere, and that reinforcement of a gendered division of labor may be detrimental to marital stability.
Chapter
Our older sibling is our older sibling, friend. You cannot just follow anybody and then when you need support, expect those people to help you . . . . No, your elder brother, your sister-in-law, and your other siblings will be the ones to help. Because of this, make the home that belongs to all of you your source.1
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In this article I question the basically classless notion of identities operating in contemporary politics, both out in the world and within contemporary social and cultural analysis. Instead I try to bring to light several aspects of what I call "the hidden life of class" in the United States.
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Since the 1990s scholars have paid increasing attention to the competing demands of work and family in the US. The result has been a literature that focuses on time, without reference to the content of activities. This article, based on several years of fieldwork with dual career middle class families, explores the activities that drive busyness and those activities undertaken to cope with its effects. The latter include both a set of practices adopted by individuals and longer term efforts to build technological, social, and ideological infrastructures to enable coping. There is thus a tacit work of managing busy everyday lives that is social in nature and salient to anthropology.
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This study investigated a middle-grades mathematics homework intervention designed to increase family involvement in homework. The participants were 74 sixth-grade students and their families from a midwestern school. The students were enrolled in one of three mathematics classes taught by the same instructor. In one class there were no homework involvement prompts, in the second class students were prompted to involve family members, and in a third class students were prompted to involve family members and family participation was requested directly. Findings indicate that, compared to families that were not prompted, families in the two classes receiving prompts were significantly more involved in mathematics homework activities. However, level of family involvement did not predict student achievement. Implications for practice and directions for research are discussed.
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Human capital and social-structural explanations of men's and women's responsibility for child care arrangements are tested using data from young dual-earner couples. The analysis moves beyond the common focus on gender differences by seeking to explain variation among men and among women. We propose a social structural explanation that focuses on the importance of situational constraints in determining involvement in household labor. When the demands of household labor are extreme, men are more likely to increase their responsibility. Hours worked by the wife increase responsibility of husbands and decrease responsibility of wives. Both male and female employees who have greater structural opportunity at work have less responsibility for child care arrangements than those whose opportunities are limited.
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Repetti's (1989, 1994) argument that daily work stress leads parents to withdraw from family interaction was tested by examining parents' knowledge of their school-aged children's experiences, whereabouts, and activities in a sample of 181 dual-earner families. Cluster analysis of husbands' and wives' work hours, role overload, and work pressure produced three clusters: high mother demands, low demands, and high father demands. Parents were less knowledgeable when fathers' jobs were highly demanding and when they had younger boys or were less happily married. The negative effects of fathers' work stress appear to be exacerbated by poor marital quality and by having a younger son.
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Despite the scarcity of studies of children's participation in housework, it has been established that children contribute a significant amount of total household labor. However, research on why some children contribute more than others has yielded ambiguous results. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households(J. A. Sweet, L. Bumpus, and V. Call [1988], working paper NSFH-1, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison), this study tests two competing theories of children's labor participation. The first, dealing with child socialization,proposes that parents assign household chores to children as a socializing experience (e.g., to promote responsibility). The second posits that children are used as a labor source whenever structural constraints prevent adults from performing the necessary chores, and alter the demand for household labor.The results indicate that children average 7 hours of housework per week, representing 12% of all household labor. Both theories receive support, yet the pragmatic aspects of households (e.g., adult labor force participation) receive greater confirmation.
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The purpose of this paper is to examine changes between 1981 and 1997 in how a representative sample of American children spends their time on a weekly basis, focusing on overall differences in time use. We also examine how the time of specific children varies depending on the age and gender of the child, presence of and employment status of parents, the number of children in the family, and the level of parental education. Data come from the Time Use Longitudinal Panel Study, 1975–1981 and the 1997 Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Results show a pattern of increased time in structured activities such as school, day care, sports, and art activities, and reduced time in unstructured play, television viewing, visiting, and passive leisure. While a few of these changes are related to increased maternal employment, most tend to be related to demographic characteristics such as increased education and reduced family size.
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Monumental buildings constructed with ashlar masonry have long been recognized as a hallmark of the Late Cypriot (LC) period (ca. 1650-1100 BC). Yet little attention has been paid to the vital role they played in the (trans)formation of social structures and maintenance of elite power. I examine how these buildings were designed to facilitate social interactions, including ritual activities centred on feasting, through which social statuses, roles and identities were negotiated and reproduced. This was achieved through the purposeful arrangement of rooms to control access and encourage or discourage particular types of interaction, as well as the strategic placement of symbolically-charged architectural elements such as ashlar masonry as a means of reifying social boundaries. Following from that, I suggest that these monumental buildings were socially-constructed and meaningful places of action and interaction and thus a central component of LC elite identities and the strategy of place-making through which they derived and maintained their power. © The Fund for Mediterranean Archaeology/Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2009.
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In this study we examined homework, the most common point of intersection among parent, child, and school activities related to formal learning, in interviews with 69 parents of first-through fifth-grade students. Analyses revealed rich information about parents' thinking, strategies, and actions related to homework. Their ideas generally clustered around 5 major themes: concern for children's unique characteristics as balanced with school demands, questions about appropriate levels of independent work by children, efforts to structure homework activities, direct involvement in homework tasks, and reflections on the personal meanings of perceived success and failure in helping children with homework. Findings suggested that students' homework represented a complex and multidimensional set of tasks for parents, for which they often felt ill-prepared, by both limitations in knowledge and competing demands for their time and energy. Strategies for involving parents more effectively in students' homework are suggested, based on the general finding that parents want to be involved more effectively in their children's school learning.
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In this chapter the author reviews the research literature on parental values, beliefs and behavior over the past several decades and turns his attention to issues that can be profitably addressed in future research on this topic. This review is framed against the backdrop of the massive changes experienced by the family in its makeup and functioning over that time in Europe and North America, and the implications of these changes for understanding the lives of children and their parents. The chapter emphasizes the importance of conceptualizing values within a social psychological framework of cultural and cognitive organization, which views parental behavior as activity organized to satisfy basic material, psychological and social needs, and parental values as the standards of desirability that govern the choices that parents make in choosing approaches to child-rearing. This framework is coupled with Bronfenbrenner's conceptualization of the social environment as a dynamic set of interconnections of social settings, embedded in a multi-layered social and cultural context, that have major implications for child-rearing behavior. A review of the literature on parental values identifies several themes, particularly those having to do with socioeconomic inequalities in parental values, religio-ethnic differences in historical changes in values, and the linkages between parental values and child-rearing behavior. In particular, research has shown that there have been major changes in parental values over the past century in the direction of greater preference for autonomy versus obedience in children and that these value orientations are connected to aspects of parental styles of behavior which may also be changing in the contemporary neo-traditional family. The chapter concludes with some thoughts about how research on parenting in future years can not only benefit from what is already known, but can also be invigorated by new theoretical and methodological approaches.
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This study examined the relationship between partner hostile responsiveness, as well as three types of withdrawing responses (intimacy avoidance, conflict avoidance and angry withdrawal) and both concurrent and prospective marital satisfaction in a community sample of couples. The primary predictor of marital outcomes for wives was partner hostile responsiveness, whereas for husbands it was partner withdrawal. Wives' intimacy avoidance contributed unique variance to the prediction of husbands' marital distress; husbands' conflict avoidance provided a buffering effect for wives in the context of high husband hostile responsiveness. Results underscore the importance of differentiating hostile and distancing behaviors and, further, assessing withdrawal outside of the context of marital conflict.
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In the United States, children are encouraged to enroll in sports activities. Studies show that these activities are positively associated with reduced delinquent behavior and increased academic and social performance. Research using parents' reports in interviews and surveys shows that parents view extracurricular sports activities as an arena for socializing their children to important values and skills that go beyond the benefits of participation in athletic activities. Through analysis of parent–child interaction using video data of naturalistic family interaction during formal participation in organized sports (e.g. Little League), informal participation (e.g. backyard pick-up games), and passive participation in sports (e.g. watching televised athletic events), this article reveals that parents play an active role in this socialization process. This article underscores the important function that sports have in family daily life as a socializing tool for culturally cherished skills and values.
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This study extends previous research by Dilworth by examining antecedents of both positive and negative family-to-work spillover—a long-neglected area of research. It also uses an extended definition of domestic labor that includes emotion work and status enhancement. Using data from a random sample of dual-earner couples, the study found gender differences and similarities in the antecedents of family-to-work spillover. For both men and women, family cohesion and emotion-work satisfaction enhanced positive family-to-work spillover. For men, relationship satisfaction was associated with positive family-to-work spillover, whereas satisfaction with the housework arrangement was related to women’s positive spillover. The factors associated with negative family-to-work spillover are different for men and women. For men, satisfaction with the status enhancement they perform in support of their partner’s career was related to decreased negative family-to-work spillover. For women, the presence of preschool-aged children was associated with increased negative family-to-work spillover.
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Organized children's activities qualify as children's work, in much the same way that school work does. Both produce transferable use value and create capital that contributes to the future production of goods and services. To illustrate this argument, this article draws on qualitative research primarily based on interviews with the parents of participants in two activities: child beauty pageants and academic enrichment classes. Despite considerable differences in the backgrounds of children who participate in these two types of activities, their parents converge in the reasons they give for enrolling their young children in these activities, and in their focus on their children's future careers and achievements.
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Children's household work presents a challenging research history, marked by promise and long standing and also by unfinished questions and studies more isolated from useful theoretical frameworks than they need be. Interest in the topic stems from the usefulness of children's work as a way of exploring a variety of issues: the development of prosocial or cooperative behavior, the fostering of responsibility, the nature of parental control or adult-guided learning, the acquisition of gender roles, and—more sociologically—the relation of children's household work to a family's socioeconomic status, a mother's paid work outside the home, and changes in concepts of childhood or child labor. Despite the extent of interest, questions still remain about why household work is expected at all, why it varies within and across families, how one form of work varies from another, and what positive or negative consequences flow from children's household work. Research on any of these issues and questions would benefit from an awareness of the range of data and conceptualizations available. With this benefit in mind, in this review I (a) draw together a literature scattered across several fields; (b) link past research to concepts used in some analyses of socialization, family functioning, and adults' household work; and (c) highlight issues that cut across studies and could be the focus of further research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Relationships between parental monitoring and children's school performance and conduct were examined in 77 dual- and 75 single-earner families in which the eldest child was between 9 and 12 years old. During home interviews, mothers, fathers, and children reported on children's school grades, perceived academic competence, and perceived conduct. Parental monitoring (i.e., parents' knowledge about children's daily experiences) was assessed in 7 evening telephone interviews. Results indicated that less well-monitored boys received lower grades than did other children. Less well-monitored boys in dual-earner families perceived their conduct more negatively than did other children, a pattern corroborated by parents' reports. The findings are discussed with regard to the importance of examining family processes in contrasting family ecologies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
An iterative, bootstrapping strategy is described in which assessment devices are evaluated on the basis of their reliabilities and validities, usefulness in the formation of nomological networks, and eventual adequacy as part of a hypothesized process mode. A study was conducted to replicate and extend previous research by the present authors and T. J. Dishion (see record 1985-25219-001) and the 1st author and Dishion (in press), which was aimed at defining the process through which young boys learn to use antisocial behaviors at home and at school. The parents of 103 4th-grade boys completed a structured interview, 6 brief telephone interviews, and the Child Behavior Checklist. The boys also completed the structured interview and the phone interviews and were observed at home during 3 1-hr periods. The children's teachers rated them on the Checklist. 14 indicators that defined the 4 latent dimensions (discipline, monitoring, coercive child, and antisocial) in the model were analyzed. According to the model, inadequate parental discipline leads to coercive child behaviors, which in turn produce antisocial acts at home and at school and further difficulties in disciplining. Parents who lack good discipline skills appear to be less aware than other parents of their children's whereabouts and activities; these poor monitoring skills lead, in turn, to further antisocial acts. (3 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The paper is based on a multi-interview qualitative study of whole family groups. The sample comprised a randomly selected group of home-owning, middle-class couples, each with two children. It was hypothesised that, by virtue of their socio-economic circumstances, such a group would be likely to have a positive view of health; to be receptive to health education messages; to be less likely to engage in health-damaging behaviour; and to have sufficient material resources to provide an environment conducive to health promoting practices. The study aimed to understand health-related beliefs and behaviours within the social contexts of everyday domestic and work life. It was evident that knowledge about health was not necessarily translated into behavioural practices, even in a health promoting environment. Differences also existed between respondents' initial accounts of their ‘usual’ behaviours and the detailed descriptions of their daily lives obtained in later interviews. A concern for good health was simply one amongst many competing sets of priorities which affect daily behaviours. Choices amongst such priorities often included wider social and moral evaluations. This paper focuses on the role of such evaluations in respondents' accounts of health; in their everyday health-relevant decisions; and in interactions between family members.
Article
This article analyzes interactions about food and eating among dual-earner middle-class families in Los Angeles, California. It synthesizes approaches from linguistic and medical anthropology to investigate how health is defined and negotiated both in interviews and in everyday communication. In particular, it explores dinnertime episodes from five families to illustrate how interactional bargaining contributes to struggles between parents and children over health-related practices, values, and morality. It compares naturally occurring videotaped interactions to parents' evaluations of their families' health elicited in interviews. The analysis of food interactions reveals much about the discursive construction of health and family life, including frequent conflicts between parents and children over eating practices. [health, food and eating, dinnertime interaction, children, working families, United States]
Article
Abstract In this article, I honor Jerome Bruner's meaning-centered and person-centered approach to the study of cultural psychology by describing aspects of the cultural psychology of suffering in and around a Hindu temple town in Orissa, India. I also outline the “big three” explanations of illness (biomedical, interpersonal, and moral) on a worldwide scale and recount some of the many meanings associated with the word health, as in the English language survey question “How would you rate your overall health?” [cultural psychology; explanations of illness; meanings of health; Orissa, India]
Article
The intent of this paper is to provide a more detailed answer to the question who are the time pressured? than has previously been available. Data was gathered through a telephone survey of residents of the Northeast Ohio region, yielding a sample of 734 full-time workers. Results indicate that the affluent are more time pressured, although education is associated with higher time pressures only among women. High time pressures are related to the number of roles occupied but the nature of experience within these roles—the type of volunteer work, job characteristics, the amount of housework done by a spouse, and satisfaction with daycare arrangements—are important for understanding the relationship between everyday lived experience and high time pressures.
Article
American families and workplaces have both changed dramatically over the past half-century. Paid work by women has increased sharply, as has family instability. Education-related inequality in work hours and income has grown. These changes, says Suzanne Bianchi, pose differing work-life issues for parents at different points along the income distribution. Between 1975 and 2009, the labor force rate of mothers with children under age eighteen increased from 47.4 percent to 71.6 percent. Mothers today also return to work much sooner after the birth of a child than did mothers half a century ago. High divorce rates and a sharp rise in the share of births to unmarried mothers mean that more children are being raised by a single parent, usually their mother. Workplaces too have changed, observes Bianchi. Today's employees increasingly work nonstandard hours. The well-being of highly skilled workers and less-skilled workers has been diverging. For the former, work hours may be long, but income has soared. For lower-skill workers, the lack of "good jobs" disconnects fathers from family obligations. Men who cannot find work or have low earnings potential are much less likely to marry. For low-income women, many of whom are single parents, the work-family dilemma is how to care adequately for children and work enough hours to support them financially. Jobs for working-class and lower middle-class workers are relatively stable, except in economic downturns, but pay is low, and both parents must work full time to make ends meet. Family income is too high to qualify for government subsidized child care, but too low to afford high-quality care in the private market. These families struggle to have a reasonable family life and provide for their family's economic well-being. Bianchi concludes that the "work and family" problem has no one solution because it is not one problem. Some workers need more work and more money. Some need to take time off around the birth of a child without permanently derailing a fulfilling career. Others need short-term support to attend to a family health crisis. How best to meet this multiplicity of needs is the challenge of the coming decade.
Article
Considering the purported bias of interviews to elicit "official accounts"--conveying conventional teachings from health promotion--and limited insights individuals may have into their own health behaviors, the challenges of relating health as talk (directed at researchers) to health as enacted are examined. Focusing on one family from a study of dual-earner middle-class Los Angeles families, I propose and apply four analytic lenses to a conjoint analysis of ethnographic interviews and videorecordings of family life to examine the parental claim that their family is a "healthy family." Findings indicate that parental accounts enable deeper insights into health as entrenched in everyday life, here revealing the centrality of a relational view of health as "family well-being" (vs. individual health) extending into the social world. Discussion considers debates over the extent to which "discursive consciousness" in interview settings illuminates health-relevant practices in everyday life contexts.
Article
My goal in this chapter is to illustrate a style of discourse analysis focusing on the cultural resources constituting racist ideological practices. I am interested in the way people tell stories: how they organize their versions of events, and how they build identities for themselves and others as they speak. I am also interested in how powerful majority groups are constructed in discourse, how the members of those groups justify their position, and how they make sense of their history and current actions in relation to their constructions of disadvantaged minority groups. In more general terms, my focus is on what Rosie Braidotti has called “the traffic jam of meanings … which create that form of pollution known as common sense” (1994, 16). Meaning coagulates in a culture and becomes temporarily stuck or jammed. The study of ideological practices involves investigating what these sticking points look like and how they occur, along with the social and political consequences. As noted in the Introduction, the chapters in this volume have a common focus: transcripts from three interviews that I conducted in the 1980s that form part of a larger corpus of over 80 interviews with white New Zealanders (Wetherell and Potter 1992). As I conducted these interviews, I have a different relationship to the data than the other contributors to this volume, who have come to the re-transcribed interviews fresh. © Cambridge University Press 2003 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.