By A. Kusserow
What are challenging and gentle individualisms? during this particular ethnography of 3 groups in long island and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and lecturers (from prosperous to these on welfare) at the kinds of difficult and gentle individualisms they motivate of their youngsters and scholars. American Individualisms explores the $64000 factor of sophistication adjustments within the socialization of individualism in the US. It provides American individualism no longer as one unmarried homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as usually claimed to be, yet as variable, class-differentiated versions of individualism instilled in youngsters by means of their mom and dad and preschool academics in ny and Queens. via delivering wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with enormously diversified visions of the longer term, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and normal discussions of yank individualism.
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Additional info for American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods
And ﬁnally, how are these class differences in individualism passed on to children as natural and self-evident and hence go uncontested and misrecognized? How do different individualistic styles become part of the child’s habitus? In this chapter are brief descriptions of the theoretical frameworks that have helped me think about these questions. , in terms of one’s social role, the group, community, land, family or tribe, deities, predecessors, or posterity) and the more individualistic, psychologized, independent ego structure of the ‘‘West’’ (also sometimes referred to as the modern, industrial, or Euro-American self).
The words ‘‘spoiled,’’ ‘‘fresh,’’ ‘‘whiny,’’ ‘‘weak-minded,’’ ‘‘prissy,’’ ‘‘soft,’’ ‘‘mushy,’’ and ‘‘pushover’’ were used in reference to qualities the parents hated and would not tolerate in their children. One young Queenston mother of two children, who had recently had a family member killed because of neighborhood violence, felt her daughter was too dependent on her, too overly sensitive and emotional. She described how her daughter didn’t want to have her birthday because she was already worried about dying at the age of ﬁve.
This type of joking criticism or complaining about the child would not have seemed appropriate among Parkside parents, who seemed much more fearful that a louder voice and more direct command would hurt the child’s feelings. Not all Queenston parents were like this, however. Some of the parents seemed totally unself-conscious, relaxed, and quite open about their lives. This immediately put me at ease as well, and in general the conversation ﬂowed much more freely. One father, a prison guard at a local prison, was incredibly proud of his success in life and couldn’t have been happier to show me his house and family pictures and talk about his past.
American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods by A. Kusserow