Social Class and Children’s Achievement

In the article “Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families,” Lareau evaluates different parental models to show that guardians produce class-based advantages when rearing children. The findings depict that class differences are more important to parents compared to racial variations.

Today, children from poor and wealthy families have entirely different lives. Lareau ties the widening inequality to the childrearing styles adopted by parents. Well-off families take a “concerted cultivation” strategy while the working and poor families use “accomplishment of natural growth” technique (Lareau, 754). The method used by the higher class families’ emphasizes on close supervision and involvement on leisure activities. Although the strategy seems boring to children, it improves their success by preparing them to join community institutions. Meanwhile, working class and low-income families assume that young ones naturally develop when given free time and independence. This technique makes children happy but gives fewer skills for prosperity. Even though Lareau relates childrearing methods to class, race also determines social class achievement.  For instance, white and black guardians have different parental expectation on children academic achievement. The blacks further emphasize “on obedience and school performance” (Robinson et al., 1351) Further, the disciplinary actions of black guardians are often more intense and power assertive compared to whites in a similar class.

The whites take punishment as a way of personal justification and improvement, while blacks stress on parental respect and discipline to authorities. These differences have the possibility of affecting development and prosperity of children. For example, punitive disciplinary strategies used by black parents results to low performance by impeding relationship and creating internal fear in children(Robinson et al., 1368). Still, higher parental expectation can further deteriorate academic achievement. Therefore, although class differences affect children, a parent’s race is also significant in upbringing of young ones.

Works Cited

Lareau, Annette. “Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families.” American sociological review (2002): 747-776.

Robinson, Keith, and Angel L. Harris. “Racial and Social Class Differences in How Parents Respond to Inadequate Achievement: Consequences for Children’s Future Achievement.” Social Science Quarterly 94.5 (2013): 1346-1371.




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