quiz- 3/23/10

May 24, 2010

symbolic violence is somewhat like brainwashing. it’s telling people what to believe instead of allowing them to form thier own opinions. for example in A Girl Like Me it seems all of these children were told that black is “bad” and white is “good” yet, they dont have the experience to back that up. this can become symbolic violence because if these children/people are told a certain thing such as black being “bad” and white being “good” then they may 1- if thier black act violent against their own race or 2- if theyre of another race become racist or act violently/think violently about the race in question.

Martin Luther King Jr. came to QC to speak to them about ending segregation. at this time people just believed “time will fix this too” and because of that no one really acted much against it and he was encouraging people to do so. also, a man was killed do to acts against segregations. so people were scared and he was telling them not to be.


english quiz-PIE

May 24, 2010

P- point of paragraph.

I- information used (books, websites)

E- explination; connecting the text with the theory of the paragraph.

positive effect of natural growth:

life experiences and indepence are two things that are positive effects of natural growth. also, sometimes a sense of creativity may form because of the lack of constructive activity. and bonds created are stronger because without the people around you you’re virtually nothing.

independence can be assed at school in the classroom. theres only one teacher among average 30 students. she/he can’t give their undivided attention to any one child at all times and with indepence a  child is less likely to need that one on one attention because in a way they can fend for themselves. also, with homework independence is good because the child won’t have to rely on their parents/guardian to sit down and do it with them. creativity is assed in school through many things; art class, music lessons and school projects and assignments. and the more creative a child is the easier some of those things may be.


quiz two

May 24, 2010

conserted cultivation or natural growth?

i would’ve considered my to have been raised both ways. i was conserted cultivation in ways because i was put in some organized activities such as soccer, dancem gymnasticsm, basketball and singing lessons. also, my parents would talk to me a lot and tru to elicit my opinions. but, i have heard the “this is the adult conversation…” phrase. i would also say i was natural growth because i didn’t have an organized schedule all day long. i had down time to play with friends or watch t.v. but, i will say that i always had adult supervision, i was never left alone to run a much but i didn’t have a set 8 am to 8pm schedule like some of the more cultivated kids did. i do believe that my parents also allowed me to decide if i wanted to do some of these things instead of “forcing” me like i feel some of the kids in the book are. what kid wants to be busy for 12 hours? there were some things that i was always interested in and have a lot of passion for, such as singing, but my parents really couldn’t afford for all of those activities. my parents werent significantly involved at my schools but they did offer me an excellent catholic school education. and yes, i negotiate with my parents all the time. sometimes i get my way and sometimes i don’t but my opinion is always heard.

what do you wish you could change about QC?

i wish i could change how some of the people are at this school. not everyone in life is super friendly but, i feel like especially here they’re not. the students i find have NO interest in making friends. im the type of person that thrives off of socializing and to not really be able to do so is rough. theres a lack of school spirit and i feel the school is very segregated by ethnic groups and religious groups especially. i also think the requirements are way to strict and don’t give students enough educational freedom to explore subjects and classes they may enjoy.


english quiz one

May 24, 2010

conserted cultivation- when a family upper to middle-class heavily influences their children to do different activities. for example: putting the children in ballet classes or violin lessons or putting them on a hockey team. many of these activities require a lot of funding for the family. hockey for example, uses a lot of money for the equipment and the traveling expenses. it’s not that the lower and working-class families don’t want to put their children in these organized activities, they just simply can’t afford it.

natural growth- when a family, usually lower to working-class doesn’t really push their children in any one direction. for example, instead of putting the child on an organized sports team the parents just have their children play outside with their friends. this is usually do to the lack of funds the family has, hence why it correlates with the working and lower-class families.


cover letter

May 22, 2010

In all honesty, I don’t have anything bad to say about this class. I’ve learned so much and have enjoyed doing so. When the semester began I was dreading English in a way because I’ve never been good at writing but taking this class has helped me to actually enjoy it. The class was current and you professor kept us on our toes. You know how to make the classroom a fun atmosphere and made us comfortable enough for us to open up and say what we wanted without repercussions. I think what I’ve gained the most from this class is the knowledge of myself. I’ve really learned so much about myself. And because the class was so small I learned a lot about my other classmates and their different cultures. I’m really going to miss this class.


FINAL- scholarship essay

May 22, 2010

Kimberly Falco

Professor Steven Alvarez

22 May 2010

Scholarship Essay: Knowing What I Want, and Trying To Get It.

For as long as I remember I’ve always wanted to do one thing, teach. I was always the teacher. Whether I was lining my dolls up around my room and playing school or having friends over and playing school. I’ve been fortunate to be inspired throughout my educational career by many teachers, and with that I feel that’s where I’ve got my passion for teaching.

My ultimate career goal is to work with kids, specifically those with special needs. I hope to one day work in a school as a special education teacher. My mom is a nursery school teacher and being at her school, and with those kids, fills me up to the fullest extent. And has greater confirmed what I’ve wanted to do. My intended major will allow me to achieve these goals because it’ll give me the educational means to work with kids. I’m choosing to do special education because the innocence children with special needs obtain is so precious and I’d like to help them keep that innocence as long as possible. There are a lot of nasty people in this world that pry on people with special needs because they may seem naive, and I want to be there to allow them to trust and know that I’ll never wrong them and just want to help them.

Participating in a nursery school has taught me so much. I worked there with pay one summer but after that the school downsized and my services weren’t needed. But, since my mom works there, I have the luxury to be able to go and volunteer there as often as I’d like. Of course schooling and working hinders that privilege, but I make a point to be there as many times as i can. I get to do projects with the children, worksheets and I’ve even been given the opportunity to teach lessons also. Volunteering there perfectly coincides with my career goals because one day i hope to run my own classroom and have my own class. I really am so passionate about this and I know that one day, when it’s my career, I’ll look forward to waking up for work everyday and give 2000% of myself to what I do.

I believe I should be considered as a scholarship candidate because it’d really help me achieve my goals. My family struggles financially, I work extra hours a week to help make ends meet, and this scholarship will lighten the load of my whole family, and especially myself. I’d be able to cut some of my work hours and be able to greater concentrate on my studies. I believe that my GPA doesn’t look as impressive as it could because my long work hours. Also, my passion for the education field is so strong that I want to be able to dedicate as much of me as possible to achieve these goals. In the fall I’ll begin my education classes at QC and I’m so enthused to do so. I can not wait to fill my passion while getting an education.


FINAL- unequal childhoods essay

May 22, 2010

Kimberly Falco
Professor Steven Alverez
English 110
22 May 2010
Concerted Cultivation or Natural Growth: The Search To Discover How One May Have Been Reared Using Annette Lareau’s Theories from Unequal Childhoods

Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau poses two definitions to child rearing. The overview of the concepts help people to get their feet wet into understanding how people may rear their children. Although Lareau’s concepts make sense I don’t believe Lareau’s idea’s in essence apply to everyone. Child rearing isn’t as black and white as Lareau may make it seem. Personally I believe that my child rearing has been in that gray area between concepts. On the contrary this book has made me think a lot and remember my childhood, it has also helped me to peer into my childhood with a different light. I propose that the point of this book, more or less, was to teach people something and to allow people to apply these concepts to their own life like we have in our class.

In Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Annette Lareau uses her ethnographic eye to dive into the lives of twelve families varying in race and class. In doing so she became able to place the different families into two categories for the way the children of different households were raised. The first category is concerted cultivation. Lareau writes:

From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. This sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings, where middle-class children lean to question adults and address them as relative equals. (Lareau 2)

The parents of the children that identify with concerted cultivation elicit opinions out of their children. These qualities ascribe mainly with middle-class and upper-class families that encourage their children to do different things. They put them into multiple activities such as dance lessons, instrumental lessons, and sports. Because these things require money middle and upper class families can greater associate with it. For example the sport hockey requires a lot of money for the equipment and traveling expenses. Because of this, children of this rearing tend to deem better institutionally prepared. They feel more empowered to have a conversation with an adult or an authority figure because they haven’t heard“this is an adult conversation, children can’t join/talk” as often. The parents of these children ask their opinions and help make them think. This usually makes the child more well-rounded and he/she can think for. Also, they tend to obtain negotiation skills and develop a larger vocabulary.

The second category Lareau put the families in was natural growth. This category goes more to the working/lower-class. These people tend to strive to survive the everyday. Lareau writes:

For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinion, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children. Parents tend to you directives: they tell their children what to do rather than persuading them with reasoning. (Lareau 3)

Because these people struggle more financially they can’t put their children in all the sports and activities that upper/middle-class can. These children inhabit a greater lifestyle in playing outside their homes with the friends on their block as opposed to going to baseball practice on an organized team. Their financial constraints dictate their activites, they don’t choose it. I remember my father telling me about his childhood, he would fall under natural growth, and he told me how his friends and him would go to the park and play their own games of baseball or other sports. He said:

Every year I’d beg my uncle Joe and aunt Mary to by me more sporting equipment. All I wanted to do was get a half decent game going with my friends and brothers. As legit as possible since we could never afford to be on a real team. (Falco, J.)

Like my father, these children tend to develop a greater sense of independence. Because they can’t be involved in organized activities, they become the coach, score keeper and player. And with that the parents of these children find it very important to set a boundary between adult and child. Children raised natural growth have heard the phrase “it’s an adult conversation…” which established the boundary between adult and child and doesn’t allow the children to be put on a more equal level than those of concerted cultivation.

My dad, my sister, my mom

I believe at the ages of around nine or ten I would’ve leaned more towards natural growth. I can remember hearing the “adult conversation” phrase and I didn’t do many activities. Although, some things Lareau associates natural growth with that I don’t agree with. For example she writes:

The working-class and poor children we observed, mainly nine-and ten-year-olds, were still young enough to enjoy the attention of their parents. Sometimes they would request adults to pay attention to them or to assist them with their activities. As this chapter shows, adults often (but not always) decline such requests. (Lareau 82-83)

Yes she does add that not always do these parents decline requests but in my memories of childhood I never once remember my parents denying requests in assistance in my activities. One of my fondest memories of my childhood consists of the many times my father would play dress up with me and let me put make-up and barrettes in his hair and he never denied me that affection and to this day I’m lucky to have a really strong bond with my father. And the same goes for my mother, she always made time for me and she’s always been my best friend. I feel more people in upper and middle-class families ignore their children because they’re more focused on providing their family with the money for their lifestyle so they work a lot. They go on business trip or vacations without their children and allow nannies to raise them. And with that I find those children end up feeling more neglected whereas those of the working class get to spend more quality time with their parents because they don‘t go away for long periods of time as often. Growing up I spent loads of time with both my mother and father and it’s something I’ll forever cherish. Also, I don’t believe I’d have the same personality I do today if I were brought up any differently. The memories I posses from my childhood are very precious to me. I went to a good Catholic school and had lovely friends and a great support system. My family has always been there for me and in good times and bad we ban together to get through, and I believe that’s what makes a family, a family.

In retrospect many things Lareau writes gives me reason to believe that the way I was brought up wasn’t so black and white as natural growth or concerted cultivation. I feel, that a lot of the child rearing associated with natural growth in essence doesn’t exist. These children are left to fend for themselves/trained to do so. I, on the other hand, am very co-dependent. I know I need people. My parents always made the effort to involve themselves in my activities, which is more regularly associated with concerted cultivation. Lareau states:

Alex’s parents fully support his involvement in extracurricular activities. Like other middle-class parents, they make accommodations in their own schedules to meet their son’s needs[…]They consider Alexander’s many commitments and essential component in his overall development[….] It is an important part of middle-class parents’ efforts to foster their children’s talents and skills. (Lareau 110)

In my memories as an adolescent I experienced just that. Although I may not have been involved in as many activities as a middle-class child would, whatever activities I became apart of my parents supportive to the fullest extent. Even to this day they still do. My brother and sister play baseball and softball and my parents are usually the only parents always stick around for their practices whereas the other parents do not. When I was around 9-10 one of the main activities I participated in was CYO basketball. My father would take me to every practice and watch them and my whole family would attend every game. Also, my parents did foster my every talent. I’ve been singing since I can basically talk and my parents did everything they could to help me greater develop my talent. Unfortunately, due to finances, I only took lessons for one year but, they put me into every talent show I wanted to be in and they‘d buy me the music and outfits I need to fulfill this.

Bali Hai

One other reason I believe I may have been brought up both is education. Although I do go to a city college now and pay a lot less for my tuition than most people, I have been fortunate to receive an excellent education all of my life. And continue to do so at Queens College. In the beginning of chapter two, Lareau uses this quote from C. Wright Mills:

The life of an individual cannot be adequately understood without references to the institutions within which his biography is enacted. (Lareau 14)

I was fortunate enough to attend two great Catholic schools. For my elementary education (first grade-eighth grade) I went to St. Robert Bellarmine in Bayside, Queens. And for my high school career I attended Archbishop Molloy High School. St. Robert Bellarmine, a small Irish-Catholic school in Bayside, helped me to develop trust in institutions.

St. Robert Bellarmine

Although I live in Flushing, for some reason my parents put me in St. Robert’s and I have so much gratitude that they did so. I had amazing experiences and met amazing people. I had a wonderful support system at that school. It was like a big family, like home. Everyone knew each other’s name and that closeness is something I’ll forever remember and appreciate. The generosity seen throughout the school, through faculty members and the other families, greatly helped me to develop that sense of trust. I felt safe there and for parents safety and stability is very high on the checklist of what they want to provide for their children. In my interview with my mom she said:

Growing up was hard, I was scared a lot of the time because I didn’t live in the best neighborhood. But, I always promised myself that I’d give my kids a better life then I had and for the most part I think I’ve succeeded at that. (Falco, D.)

My mom, myself, my dad

I would one hundred percent agree with that. The stories both my parents have told me about their childhood, I’ve never come near experiencing that. From near death experiences to gang violence to muggings, I’ve never near experienced it. My family and I may not have much but we manage. We make the best out of all situations given to us. My parents have struggled and if their goal was to achieve better for their kids they’ve succeeded. In so this assignment I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter all that much in which way I may have been reared. And I’ve also realized that there isn’t a clear cut answer to which way I was reared. What I’ve realized is that I’ve been lucky. Lucky to obtain the love and support I get from my family and that I’m happy. No matter what happens I know I’ll always be taken care of and will always have my family around. They’ll always be there for me and that makes me feel lucky and be filled to the fullest extent.

My Family

As we dive into the deeper meaning of these concepts we see that in essence these concepts don’t define a family. I don’t believe Lareau is trying to do so either, it just makes it more apparent that your family defines a family. As stated earlier these two concepts of child rearing are very black and white and with that it does not apply to everyone. I believe that many people would fall into that “gray” area as I have. These concepts make us take a look into our own lives and critique how we may have been reared. Also, it allows us to peer into these family lives and maybe put more into perspective. For example those of us who may not be that wealthy and see what little freedom these kids can have, it may help people to appreciate what they really do have.

WORKS CITED:

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life. California; Regents of the University of California Press, Ltd, 2003. Print.

Falco, Diana. Personal Interview. 21 April 2010.

Falco, Joseph. Personal Interview. 1 May 2010.


ESSAY-5510

May 5, 2010

Kimberly Falco
Professor Steven Alverez
English 110
6 April 2010
Concerted Cultivation or Natural Growth: The Search To Discover How One May Have Been Reared Using Annette Lareau’s Theories from Unequal Childhoods

In Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Annette Lareau uses her ethnographic eye to dive into the lives of twelve families varying in race and class. In doing so she became able to place the different families into two categories for the way the children of different households were raised. The first category is concerted cultivation. Lareau writes:

From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. This sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings, where middle-class children lean to question adults and address them as relative equals. (Lareau 2)

The parents of the children that identify with concerted cultivation elicit opinions out of their children. These qualities ascribe mainly with middle-class and upper-class families that encourage their children to do different things. They put them into multiple activities such as dance lessons, instrumental lessons, and sports. Because these things require money middle and upper class families can greater associate with it. For example the sport hockey requires a lot of money for the equipment and traveling expenses. Because of this, children of this rearing tend to deem better institutionally prepared. They feel more empowered to have a conversation with an adult or an authority figure because they haven’t heard“this is an adult conversation, children can’t join/talk” as often. The parents of these children ask their opinions and help make them think. This usually makes the child more well-rounded and he/she can think for. Also, they tend to obtain negotiation skills and develop a larger vocabulary.

The second category Lareau put the families in was natural growth. This category goes more to the working/lower-class. These people tend to strive to survive the everyday. Lareau writes:

For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinion, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children. Parents tend to you directives: they tell their children what to do rather than persuading them with reasoning. (Lareau 3)

Because these people struggle more financially they can’t put their children in all the sports and activities that upper/middle-class can. These children inhabit a greater lifestyle in playing outside their homes with the friends on their block as opposed to going to baseball practice on an organized team. Their financial constraints dictate their activites, they don’t choose it. I remember my father telling me about his childhood, he would fall under natural growth, and he told me how his friends and him would go to the park and play their own games of baseball or other sports. He said:

Every year I’d beg my uncle Joe and aunt Mary to by me more sporting equipment. All I wanted to do was get a half decent game going with my friends and brothers. As legit as possible since we could never afford to be on a real team. (Falco, J.)

Like my father, these children tend to develop a greater sense of independence. Because they can’t be involved in organized activities, they become the coach, score keeper and player. And with that the parents of these children find it very important to set a boundary between adult and child. Children raised natural growth have heard the phrase “it’s an adult conversation…” which established the boundary between adult and child and doesn’t allow the children to be put on a more equal level than those of concerted cultivation.

I believe at the ages of around nine or ten I would’ve leaned more towards natural growth. I can remember hearing the “adult conversation” phrase and I didn’t do many activities. Although, some things Lareau associates natural growth with that I don’t agree with. For example she writes:

The working-class and poor children we observed, mainly nine-and ten-year-olds, were still young enough to enjoy the attention of their parents. Sometimes they would request adults to pay attention to them or to assist them with their activities. As this chapter shows, adults often (but not always) decline such requests. (Lareau 82-83)

Yes she does add that not always do these parents decline requests but in my memories of childhood I never once remember my parents denying requests in assistance in my activities. One of my fondest memories of my childhood consists of the many times my father would play dress up with me and let me put make-up and barrettes in his hair and he never denied me that affection and to this day I’m lucky to have a really strong bond with my father. And the same goes for my mother, she always made time for me and she’s always been my best friend. I feel more people in upper and middle-class families ignore their children because they’re more focused on providing their family with the money for their lifestyle so they work a lot. They go on business trip or vacations without their children and allow nannies to raise them. And with that I find those children end up feeling more neglected whereas those of the working class get to spend more quality time with their parents because they don‘t go away for long periods of time as often. Growing up I spent loads of time with both my mother and father and it’s something I’ll forever cherish. Also, I don’t believe I’d have the same personality I do today if I were brought up any differently. The memories I posses from my childhood are very precious to me. I went to a good Catholic school and had lovely friends and a great support system. My family has always been there for me and in good times and bad we ban together to get through, and I believe that’s what makes a family, a family.

In retrospect many things Lareau writes gives me reason to believe that the way I was brought up wasn’t so black and white as natural growth or concerted cultivation. I feel, that a lot of the child rearing associated with natural growth in essence doesn’t exist. These children are left to fend for themselves/trained to do so. I, on the other hand, am very co-dependent. I know I need people. My parents always made the effort to involve themselves in my activities, which is more regularly associated with concerted cultivation. Lareau states:

Alex’s parents fully support his involvement in extracurricular activities. Like other middle-class parents, they make accommodations in their own schedules to meet their son’s needs[…]They consider Alexander’s many commitments and essential component in his overall development[….] It is an important part of middle-class parents’ efforts to foster their children’s talents and skills. (Lareau 110)

In my memories as an adolescent I experienced just that. Although I may not have been involved in as many activities as a middle-class child would, whatever activities I became apart of my parents supportive to the fullest extent. Even to this day they still do. My brother and sister play baseball and softball and my parents are usually the only parents always stick around for their practices whereas the other parents do not. When I was around 9-10 one of the main activities I participated in was CYO basketball. My father would take me to every practice and watch them and my whole family would attend every game. Also, my parents did foster my every talent. I’ve been singing since I can basically talk and my parents did everything they could to help me greater develop my talent. Unfortunately, due to finances, I only took lessons for one year but, they put me into every talent show I wanted to be in and they‘d buy me the music and outfits I need to fulfill this.

One other reason I believe I may have been brought up both is education. Although I do go to a city college now and pay a lot less for my tuition than most people, I have been fortunate to receive an excellent education all of my life. And continue to do so at Queens College. In the beginning of chapter two, Lareau uses this quote from C. Wright Mills:

The life of an individual cannot be adequately understood without references to the institutions within which his biography is enacted. (Lareau 14)

I was fortunate enough to attend two great Catholic schools. For my elementary education (first grade-eighth grade) I went to St. Robert Bellarmine in Bayside, Queens. And for my high school career I attended Archbishop Molloy High School. St. Robert Bellarmine, a small Irish-Catholic school in Bayside, helped me to develop trust in institutions. Although I live in Flushing, for some reason my parents put me in St. Robert’s and I have so much gratitude that they did so. I had amazing experiences and met amazing people. I had a wonderful support system at that school. It was like a big family, like home. Everyone knew each other’s name and that closeness is something I’ll forever remember and appreciate. The generosity seen throughout the school, through faculty members and the other families, greatly helped me to develop that sense of trust. I felt safe there and for parents safety and stability is very high on the checklist of what they want to provide for their children. In my interview with my mom she said:

Growing up was hard, I was scared a lot of the time because I didn’t live in the best neighborhood. But, I always promised myself that I’d give my kids a better life then I had and for the most part I think I’ve succeeded at that. (Falco, D.)

I would one hundred percent agree with that. The stories both my parents have told me about their childhood, I’ve never come near experiencing that. From near death experiences to gang violence to muggings, I’ve never near experienced it. My family and I may not have much but we manage. We make the best out of all situations given to us. My parents have struggled and if their goal was to achieve better for their kids they’ve succeeded. In so this assignment I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter all that much in which way I may have been reared. And I’ve also realized that there isn’t a clear cut answer to which way I was reared. What I’ve realized is that I’ve been lucky. Lucky to obtain the love and support I get from my family and that I’m happy. No matter what happens I know I’ll always be taken care of and will always have my family around. They’ll always be there for me and that makes me feel lucky and be filled to the fullest extent.

WORKS CITED:

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life. California; Regents of the University of California Press, Ltd, 2003. Print.

Falco, Diana. Personal Interview. 21 April 2010.

Falco, Joseph. Personal Interview. 1 May 2010.


Eassy 1

April 6, 2010

Concerted Cultivation or Natural Growth?

In the book Unequal Childhoods Class, Race, and Family Life, Annette Lareau uses her ethnographic eye to dive into the lives of twelve families ranging in race and class. In doing so she was able to place the different families into two categories for the way the children of the house hold were raised. The first category is concerted cultivation. Lareau writes:

From this, a robust sense of entitlement takes root in the children. This sense of entitlement plays an especially important role in institutional settings, where middle-class children lean to question adults and address them as relative equals. (Lareau 2)

The parents of the children that identify with concerted cultivation elicit opinions out of their children. These are middle-class and upper-class families that encourage their children to do different things. They put them into multiple activities such as dance lessons, instrumental lessons, and sports. The reason this way of child rearing is associated with middle/upper-class is because these things require money. For example, hockey is a sport that requires a lot of money for the equipment and traveling expenses. Because of this the children are more developed. They feel more empowered to have a conversation with an adult or an authority figure because they weren’t told as often “this is an adult
conversation, you can’t be involved.” The parents of these children ask their opinions and help make them think. This usually makes the child more well-rounded and he/she can think for themselves and not be so easily influenced by what other people say and what they’re surrounded by.

The second category Lareau put the families in was natural growth. This category goes more to the working/lower-class. These people are more or less just trying to survive. Lareau writes:

For them, the crucial responsibilities of parenthood do not lie in eliciting their children’s feelings, opinion, and thoughts. Rather, they see a clear boundary between adults and children. Parents tend to you directives: they tell their children what to do rather than persuading them with reasoning. (Lareau 3)

What Lareau means is that because these people struggle more financially they can’t put their children in all the sports and activities that upper/middle-class can. These children are more likely to play outside their homes with the friends on their block as opposed to going to baseball practice on an organized team. I remember my father telling me about his childhood, he would fall under natural growth, and he told me how him and his friends would go to the park and play their own games of baseball or other sports. Also, he told me how for Christmas he and his siblings would ask their aunts, uncles and grandparents for sports equipment such as gloves, bats, and helmets and they’d always express how they’ve gotten them it before but they wanted multiples so many people could play in the games. And because these children aren’t involved in many organized they tend to develop a greater sense of independence. And with that the parents of these children find it very important to set a boundary between adult and child. Children raised natural growth have heard the phrase “it’s an adult conversation…” which established the boundary between adult and child and doesn’t allow the children to be put on a more equal level than those of concerted cultivation.

I believe at the time ages of around nine or ten I would’ve leaned more towards natural growth. I can remember hearing the “adult conversation” phrase and I didn’t do many activities. But there are some things Lareau associates natural growth with that I don’t agree with. For example she writes:

The working-class and poor children we observed, mainly nine-and ten-year-olds, were still young enough to enjoy the attention of their parents. Sometimes they would request adults to pay attention to them or to assist them with their activities. As this chapter shows, adults often (but not always) decline such requests. (Lareau 82-83)

Yes she does add that not always do these parents decline requests but in my memories of childhood I never once remember my parents denying requests in assistance in my activities. One of my fondest memories of my childhood is the many times my father would play dress up with me and let me put make-up and barrettes in his hair and he never denied me that affection and to this day I’m lucky to have a really strong bond with my father. And the same goes for my mother, she always made time for me and she’s always been my best friend. I feel more people in upper and middle-class families ignore their children because they’re more focused on providing their family with the money for their lifestyle so they’re working a lot. They go on business trip or vacations without their children or they’re just busy with work in general (not that working-class people aren’t busy). And with that I find those children end up feeling more neglected where as those of the working class get to spend more quality time with their parents because they’re home more. Growing up I spent loads of time with both my mother and father and it’s something I’ll forever cherish. Also, I don’t believe I’d be the person I am today if I were brought up any differently. I’m very fond of the memories I hold from my childhood. I went to a good catholic school and had lovely friends and a great support system. My family has always been there for me and in good time and bad we ban together to get through and I believe that’s what makes a family, a family.


Edited PIE Paragraph

March 24, 2010
In A Girl Like Me a group of African American teenage girls re-constructed an experiment originally performed in the 1950s by Dr. Kenneth Clark. The point of the experiment was to see if, in 2008, 60 years later, they’d get the same/similar results to Dr. Clark. The girls’ experiment consisted of 21 African American children, around ages 5-7. The conductor of the experiment laid two dolls, one black and one white, in front of the children. She then asked each child individually which doll they preferred to play with and 15 of the 21 children preferred the while doll. She then asked the children which doll was the ‘nice’ one and why. The majority of the children said it was the white doll because she was white. The conductor then asked which was the ‘mean’ doll and why. And the majority of the children claimed it was the black doll because it was black. During the final part of the experiment the conductor asked one girl which doll looked like her. The little girl wanted to grab the white one, even went to grab it, then, with great hesitation, she grabbed the black doll. In “The Economy of Symbolic Goods“, Pierre Bourdieu writes:

Symbolic violence rests on the adjustment between the structures constitutive of the habitus of the dominated and the structure of the relation of domination to which they apply: the dominated perceive the dominant through the categories that the relation of domination has produced and which are thus identical to the interests of the dominant.(121-122)

In the films case whites are the dominate, and African Americans, perceive the dominant the way the dominant want to be perceived. This is because no one has taken the risk of challenging the dominant. Thus this causes “symbolic violence” because the dominated feel like they were never able to be perceived as the dominant are because they were never given the chance. This passage from Bourdieu can help us to understand why the little girl in the A Girl Like Me experiment had such hesitation to pick the doll that looked like her (the black one). As Bourdieu writes people’s perceptions of other people, and themselves, are shaped by whatever the dominant people believe. This is because the dominant people have the control over what’s shown on the news, on the internet and on sitcoms. In our society it is found that the majority of dominant people are white and with that they get the perception of being ‘good’ because they obviously wouldn’t give themselves a bad name. And thus in our society African Americans get stereotyped (mainly through white influence) as ‘bad’. This ‘bad’ persona African Americans get is mainly due to the fact that many of the instances spotlighted that include African Americans have been bad, such as drug use and stealing, etc. And because of dominant whites controlling the media African American’s are easily portrayed as bad. As we can see for ourselves, many movies based around African American’s are about those negative stereotypes causing people to have that imprinted in their minds. Not all African American’s are bad, just as not all white people are good but, stereotypes cause generalization and that’s hard to break. It is found through the film A Girl Like Me that even those of the African American race are imprinted so deeply with these stereotypes that they’re led to believe people of their own race, or even themselves, are bad. In the scene where the little girl hesitates it is clear that she doesn’t believe she is bad. But, she is realizing that just minutes before she told the conductor that the black doll was bad solely because it was black and since she’s black does that make her bad too? Obviously it does not but by picking the black doll as the one that looks like her, to her, she is saying/admitting that she too is bad/mean. And with that this little girl may have come to raise some questions in her head. Are all African American’s mean? Am I mean? Bourdieu also writes:

Because the economy of symbolic goods is based on belief, the principle of its reproduction or crisis is found in the reproduction or crisis of belief, that is, in continuity or rupture with the adjustment between mental structures (categories of perception and appreciation, systems of preference) and objective structures. But the rupture cannot result from a simple awakening of consciousness; the transformation of the objective structures of which they are the product and which they can survive. (121-122)

This idea is telling us, in the last sentence, that change of beliefs doesn’t come with just realizing you feel different or that a change is needed. It comes with people transforming themselves to know that going against the ‘norm’ is okay and in essence going against the norm is what makes the world go round. In that minute that little girl had begun to realize that maybe not all the things she’s ever been told or have seen on TV or in movies is true. Not all stereotypes glued to different people and different races are accurate. And sometimes you have to go against what the majority of people say to find your voice, and to know your beautiful, and to maybe one day be the dominant rather than the dominated.


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