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Paper Two

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Jayah Feliciano

February 18, 2013

Paper 2


Theoretical Analysis Reflection

     In Lareau’s text, she focuses on low/working and middle class families and the impact that their way of living has on the offspring.  She states that middle class families engage in concerted cultivation as opposed to the low/working class families who prefer natural growth for their children. Lareau believes that the children raised in the middle classes families gain more of advantage than the children in low/working class families, and I agree with Lareau.

            Chapter three is about a boy, Garret Tallinger, who is raised in a middle class family. Organized sports are a top priority for him and they shape Garret to be competitive, aggressive, and teach him how to work with a team. In addition to sports, his parents use a technique of answering questions with more questions to arrive at an answer. They also teach Garret how to interact with adults, making sure he gives eye contact when shaking the hand of an adult. The parents of Alexander Williams, who is also middle class, makes sure that he questions authority.

            In contrast, low/ working class families function differently. Lareau talks about Tyrec Taylor, who is allowed to do what he wants. Organized sports are not a priority for him. He is allowed to go outside and play in the streets all day long. He did participate in football, but he quit the next year and was not required to play any other sport. His mother made him do what she wanted him to do by giving commands instead of phrasing everything in a question like Garret’s mother to enables him to think. Also, Tyrec refers to all adults as “Miss” and “Mister” and is taught to respect all adults.

            The difference between the two does give the middle class child more of an advantage for handling the real world and higher performances in school. In Garret’s case, he will be able to question adults and engage in their conversations naturally, whereas Tyrec will feel uncomfortable being that he was taught to strictly respect adults. He may not want to question them. This is how I was taught when I was younger. My mother always told me to “stay in a child’s place” and “do not get involved in grown people’s conversation.” As a result, I was nervous when adults actually wanted me to engage in conversation with them. This was a disadvantage for me because I had to learn and become comfortable with engaging in conversation with my elders. Even today, I am nervous on interviews because they are usually with older men or women.

            I was raised being taught with a mixture concerted cultivation and natural growth . My mother really believed in organized sports; however, the activities did not run my day to day life because they were at fixed times on fixed dates. I was on a drill team since I was three years old, with an addition to other activities, such as dancing on a band and participating in clubs. I had some of the same outcomes as Garrett, like being competitive, a better leader, taught how to interact with children my age, deal with different personalities, and be more aggressive. It also taught me to not be a quitter.

            My mother gave did give demands, but she also made me figure things out on my own. For example, when it came to playing on the streets, she gave boundaries, like Tyrec’s mother and allowed to do what I wanted to do until it was time for me to go in the house, but I could not go outside if I had not completed all of my homework first. In other instances, when I complained about a grade on an assignment, she would suggest that I talk to my teacher to figure out why I received what I did before she went to ask.  This helped me out because whenever I am unclear with directions or assignments or anything in general, I am not afraid to ask for help. I feel llike students benefit more from suggestions or answering questions with questions instead of being demanded to do something because it gives them room to critically think and reflect o situations. It also helps with decision making, which is used a lot in the "real world."

            Overall, I believe that the ideas Lareau expresses are accurate. The things that children learn in their home will be reflected through their actions outside of home. Tyrec is taught to respect adults in his home, and when he goes out to school, he will respect them. Garret is taught to give eye contact and shake the hands of elder men, and he does so when he is in public and meets someone new.  These small things affect the future of children, and middle class children have a slight advantage over low/working class families.