By A. Kusserow
What are demanding and tender individualisms? during this precise ethnography of 3 groups in ny and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and academics (from filthy rich to these on welfare) at the varieties of not easy and tender individualisms they motivate of their kids and scholars. American Individualisms explores the real factor of sophistication ameliorations within the socialization of individualism in the USA. 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 teenagers by way of their mom and dad and preschool academics in new york and Queens. through delivering wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with tremendously diversified visions of the longer term, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and primary discussions of yankee individualism.
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Extra resources for American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods (Culture, Mind and Society)
Other studies that have explored individualism embedded in the moral socialization of the American self (Shweder, Mahapatra, and Miller, 1990; Shweder and Miller, 1991; Shweder and Much, 1991), socialization in the home (Richman, Miller, and Solomon, 1988), or American conceptions of the person (Shweder and Bourne, 1984) are also based on middleclass populations. Other studies on how the child learns to be a member of a group in preschools in Japan (Lebra, 1976; Hendry, 1986; White, 1987; Peak, 1989, 1991; Lewis, 1989) point to the ways individualistically oriented American preschools differ from those in Japan.
Often I would make myself just sit with the awkward silence in the hope that the mother would continue without my prompting. These were the hardest interviews I had, and I often left feeling I had not been able to loosen the tightness and defensiveness. Nowhere was I more struck by the way habitus is embodied than with the mothers of Queenston. These same mothers often seemed pressed for time, harried, overtired, and at the end of their ropes. They had none of the luxuries that most of the Parkside parents had (babysitters, air conditioning, washer and dryer, free time, or jobs arranged according to their own time schedules, just to name a few).
I don’t want her growin’ up thinkin’ that’s normal. One Queenston father talked with pride about how he wasn’t a ‘‘softy’’ the way his wife was with the kids. ‘‘Yeah, but I never give in to the whining, crying thing. ’’ I also interviewed one Kelley mother, Sara, who talked about how silly and ‘‘soft’’ her sister’s discipline of her children was. She also spoke disparagingly of the ‘‘mushiness’’ of her oldest son. Of her sister, she says, ‘‘She’s into all that time out stuff. ’ I mean, give me a break.
American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods (Culture, Mind and Society) by A. Kusserow