cover letter
Wednesday May 26th 2010, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

i enjoyed this class because it wasn’t just about simply writing and i will put the pie paragraphs to good use.



I Lack The Will to Be a Foot Soldier in the Life I wish to Live
Monday May 24th 2010, 11:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

From an early age you’re told to strive for your dreams and dream of a future. As children we heard saying like “always speak up for yourself” and “always make sure your light bulbs are on”. These sayings are only the beginning of a life. Later when starting to reach our teen years we hear “college is coming”, “keep your grades up for college”. We don’t hear that college isn’t for everyone. We only hear it from the few that see something beyond a degree. Fortunately for me I was one those who saw an opportunity when looking at college, hence me applying for this scholarship.

When growing up I was one of those kids that just wanted to be everything. I can remember wanting to work at McDonalds’ so I could have free lunch with my sister who would be next door being a doctor. I can remember wanting to be a doctor, but things change. The two things that have stuck with me throughout my entire life is my love for both dance and math. Though they are both entirely different from each other, they both present themselves to me as a challenge, which is what I love equally about them. During the final years of my high school career I began to think what career path best suited me and I settled on accounting because it had to do with math. After taking a college class while in high school in accounting, I then decided that it just wasn’t for me because it didn’t bring that excitement that I thrived on. My ultimate goal when choosing my career wasn’t the money but how much I love what I do. I figured that if I loved what I did getting up to go to a job that pays me half as much as another I could have chosen then I was fine because I figured that my demeanor would be more exciting and inclusive which would make me a more useful employee.

Towards the end of my high school career I began to question if I wanted to become a mathematician because I had started watching a showed called “Numb3rs” and there was this guy, this mathematician named Charlie who used his mathematical skills to work with the FBI to solve crimes. I know this was television and on television not everything is real, but to me this could be and I saw that if he could do it, why couldn’t I? But I figured that as a mathematician it could be a bit boring at times to I finally came to the conclusion to become a college math professor. I didn’t come to this decision just suddenly. There were two incidents that I can distinctly remember that triggered my drive to strive for this career. The first was during my senior year of high school, I was on the National Honors Society and one of our requirements was to do something for a community. We choose to tutor third and fourth graders in Brooklyn for their upcoming citywide tests. I can remember taking the long walk to the train station to take the G train and then getting off and then taking another long walk. I can remember just being tired and ready to get it over with, but when I got there the kids were so eager to learn that you couldn’t help but smile at them because you could feel their excitement, the same excitement that I harbor for any new challenge. I can remember sitting down and helping any kid who needed it. To me, there was no special child out the group because they were all unique in the way they learned and took in information. That was the day that I faced my first major challenge of deciding what I wanted to do with my life.

The second thing that made me sure of my career choice was a woman I unfortunately don’t know the name of. She’s a math teacher at Queens College, but she wasn’t my math teacher. The beginning of this story is my first semester of my freshman year of college and I had a math teacher that couldn’t seem to connect with the students. Skipping ahead in the story, it’s the end of the semester and I’m not exactly passing the class with high regards and he tells us that there’s a study session for those who needed it before the final exam. Of course, I went, expecting not to understand a word, but I went anyways just to try it. I’m sitting in the classroom at around 6’o clock at night waiting for this study session to begin and in walks this bubbly brunette headed lady with a loud chipper voice that looked like she still belonged in college.  And then she began to teach and I began to understand why she was up there. She knew what she was doing and explained things in a way that it stayed both educational and fun and being pre-calculus that she was teaching that couldn’t have been easy, but she pulled it off. I learned more from her in the hour and a half that I knew her that I had for the hold semester. Something that pulled at me about her was the fact that despite her obvious young age and casual demeanor, it was obvious that her students had respect for her in regard to both her knowledge and her persona. To me this showed that you didn’t have to be stiff and formal to be a professor, you could have a little fun in your lesson and still manage not to lose sight of why you’re there.

The second half of my goal is to open up a dance center like the one I had growing up. My inspiration for this is a woman named Gloria Jackson who owned the dance studio that I went to that was only a few block from my house. I can remember being six years old and walking into the dance school down the block that I heard a lot of noise from every time I went to the store. Just walking past was an experience because you could simply feel the energy of it all just by standing outside the doors. I remember being so excited when walking past one day to see that they were having an open house for new members. I remember begging my mother to let me go and the excitement of the anticipation of waiting for the day to come. I remember when they day finally came and me, my mom, my brother, and my sister walked into the door with the noise behind it that gave so much energy. I remember thinking how humongous the place looked compared to my teeny old self and looking around trying to take everything in. From the chandelier light by the entrance to the music in the backroom that led to the swinging door that held a huge dance studio behind it. I’ve been in dance school since I was six and on dance teams since I was eleven whether in school or at work. Like I said earlier, it’s one of my passions. I’m also considering the option of having either a club or a venue where people can just come to have fun and hang out with no worries but whose toe they stepped on. This all leads to the my minor of business management so I can know how to run my own business because in my opinion their are too many stories of people putting their work into other peoples hands and expecting all to go well with no help from them. My theory is that in order to make a business you have to start with knowledge of the business and with my degree that’s exactly what I plan to do.

If there’s one thing I dislike the most, it’s talking about myself, so I’ll just say, I am the better candidate for your scholarship. I say this because even though my career goal will most likely stick me in a classroom that I will teach in for many years, my goal will still be, being Charlie. If not helping the world with my crime fighting mathematic skills, then by helping kids or just, people to be more open through their dance. Throughout my life both dancing and mathematics has helped me to further assert myself into being the person I want to be. I can remember dance class being over for a lunch one day and my teacher calling and asking me why I stood in the back and I just shrugged. When I got back from the break he made me stand in front and continued this for the rest of the week. At first I wondered why he was doing this because I saw standing in the back as no big deal, but as I started to think I began to see that the problem was that I thought it was no big deal. His telling me to stand in the front was like a metaphor for saying that those who stand in back won’t be noticed. So I see it as, by me setting my goals and knowing what I want to do and how I want to do it, it’s me standing straight and saying this is what I want, this is what I deserve. I deserve this scholarship because I’m trying to be someone beyond myself.



My Rearing: Natural Growth with a Sprinkle of Concerted Cultivation According to Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods
Monday May 24th 2010, 11:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My Rearing: Natural Growth with a Sprinkle of Concerted Cultivation

According to Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods

Annette Lareau who is sociologist at the University of Maryland decided to get out of the classroom and go out into the world to test her theories. She wrote a book called Unequal Childhoods in which she used her ethnic studies, anthropologic ideas and sociologic knowledge to conduct a study on how children are reared. The definition of the word rearing means to raise someone to be an accepted member of the community. Lareau goes into the homes of various strangers to use them as case studies in her experiment of how one raises their child.

In Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau documents her findings from her ethnographic studies. She writes of how she used various methods in order to compare and contrast how different people from different backgrounds live. She compares everything from social status, to race, to activities in daily life. The conclusion of her hypothesis shows how to find if children today are grouped in terms of education and social status according to whom their parents are and where they live. In the book she conducts different types of experiments in order to justify the accuracy of her conclusions. During her thesis Lareau writes that,

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

Lareau uses this quote by C. Wright Mills as an epigraph to format the thought process of one of her chapters. She states that the measure of a person’s life can only be determined by the institutions they went to in reference to the schools they attended and the environment that surrounded them. Lareau then goes on to justify Mills’ statement by comparing two schools. She compares and contrasts between Lower Richmond School in the city and Swan School in the suburbs and describes the differences in their institutions and surrounding communities. When describing the differences in schools it’s easy to distinguish and label which school could refer to middle class and which one the lower. When speaking of Lower Richmond, Lareau states how the building has few windows and splotches of paint on the walls that custodians constantly put up to cover graffiti. The environment that she describes that surrounds the area is hectic, loud and non-stop with places all around filled with life and action. When describing Swan, Lareau speaks of windows surrounding all the walls and an elaborate playground. The environment that surrounds it has nothing within walking distance, with no major traffic, only big “Costco” like stores and parking lots. A huge contrasting fact for me showed in the differences between the surroundings, not in the community but around these elementary schools. Lower Richmond surrounded itself with a “high grey chain-like fence” while Swan gave an “open and inviting” feeling with no fence to surround it. Something so simple as a fence, has a significant place into how Lareau judges individuals in reference to their institutions. She showed how simple an observation can occur with no people around and just looking at things and objects that spoke for themselves. Swan School appeared better funded due to their management of their funds, with its “five-star” playground and open grass that the children could play on, Lower Richmond School appeared to be less manageable with their savings (money was most likely being drained from the constant painting over the graffiti walls). I can relate to the Lower Richmond School with their lack of stable financials because in my 3rd grade elementary school the girl’s bathroom only had two stalls with doors on them out of five stalls.

Lareau also states that the relationship between a parent and child can determine the stature of things. The relationship between that child and their siblings can also factor into the status of structure. She relates how these things equate to how the child will handle the future. How they handle their education and all the situations thrown at them from different angles. She uses all of these things as a census of how one becomes successful. Lareau claims that,

There are differences in other aspects of children’s school performance according to their parents’ social structural location. Many studies demonstrate the crucial role of educational success in determining occupational success. Parents’ social class position predicts children’s school success and thus their ultimate life chances. (29)

Lareau claims that how children perform in their education depends upon where their parents came from in terms of social status. She gives the impression that in order to gain success in the career of one’s future one would first have to achieve success in the educational system. Her interpretation of how successful one is shows how successful parents use in their social class in determining how far their children will get in life. I don’t agree with her argument on this situation because while going in depth about why and how she came to this conclusion, her facts appear to be vague (in my opinion) because not everyone shares the same views. I see it in the way that one can’t judge all situations on one example. One of the conclusions she came to when interviewing teachers on their views was that parents should take a leadership role in their child’s education and a parent not showing up for a parent-teacher conference showed as a sign that they did not value their child’s education. When hearing this I related it to myself and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t quite accurate because despite the fact that my parents were avid contributors to dragging me to parent-teacher conference, I never perceived this as a duty, it was just something they continuously did. Also, in terms of leadership in my education, I took it upon myself to learn. Yes, my parents did initially put me in daycare then pre-school then elementary school. So they did take a leadership role, but it was up to me to maintain my level of interest. This gives proof to the fact that one can’t judge everyone in terms of one situation because every individual exist differently. An individual may be pushed into becoming a mold into which they do not fit. Despite which “social class” one associates themselves with, we are all the same because in the end we, the individuals, the ones that mold ourselves. The only thing that I partially agree with her on pertains to when she says “The more elite the school, the more richly graduates are rewarded.”(29) I partially agree with this because I see it as something one can go out in the world to see with one’s own eyes. A simple example of this is if I were to go to a job interview and hear that someone who graduated from Harvard, Yale, or Brown is going up against me for the same job, I would be at a disadvantage because I went to a CUNY College. In comparison the measures just don’t add up, but then again (where I become partial) if I graduate top of my class in my CUNY College and the people from Harvard, Yale, or Brown didn’t even meet up to the top ten of their class, I would see myself and my cultural capital of being more knowledgeable than the other candidates up for the job, as an advantage that would make me more likely to be “rewarded’ despite the non-elite status of my school.

Who one becomes determines how one sees oneself. How one was brought up determines who one becomes. How one’s parents raise one to become determines how one adapts to life’s many obstacles. How one’s parents reared one is predetermined in the way they saw fit. Rearing a child defines how a child is brought up to live, whether according to the dominant set of cultural repertories in terms of  manners, social activities, viewpoints, and so many other things that go into who one becomes in the future. There is a significant social stratification that separates has one’s child is raised according to social status among society. Lareau writes:

On the basis of the data collected, I develop the claim that common economic position in the society, defined in terms of social class membership, is closely tied to differences in the cultural logic of child rearing. (Lareau 31)

One’s status in terms of economic level and in society is determined by how one comes about. Lareau gives two ways in which one raises a child. One is concerted cultivation. The other, the accomplishment of natural growth. I would consider myself as a mix of both concerted cultivation and natural growth. Concerted cultivation teaches lessons through organized activities that help prepare one’s child for white-collar jobs and the types of interactions that a white-collar worker encounters. A key element of this child-rearing approach shows that parents actively encourage their children to express their opinions and give the children a strict schedule filled with various activities. Children of concerted cultivation tend to live with an entitlement instilled in them by their parents from the use of the transmission of differential advantages. All this is said to be a successful way for the children to be more open and social to the outside world and when coming of age, so they are knowledgeable about certain viewpoints of the world while also giving their input to what they think of a certain topic.

The accomplishment of natural growth involves less organized activities and more free time for the child to play with other children in the neighborhood. This type of child-rearing shows parents caring for their children while allowing them to grow without the burden of a hefty schedule. Children of this type of rearing are said to be more close-knit with their extended family and have more leisure time to hang out with friends. These children also can only afford at least one activity per year unlike those in cultural cultivation who

Routinely (spend) hundreds and even thousands of dollars per year promoting children’s activities (35)

The parents who rear their children by natural growth appear to me stricter only in terms of restricting the challenging of an opinion to their child. Lareau states that children of concerted cultivation appear to have a greater sense of entitlement while those of natural growth appear to lack confidence in terms of what they are permitted to achieve. Their sense of constraint shows the mirror image of how such an upbringing can be influential. Lareau also states that those reared by cultural cultivation tend to be more social when going into the workforce but I disagree because I see children of natural growth as more social than those of concerted cultivation because during their free time they hang out with friends or go to family members houses and it gives them a sense of closeness. On the other hand, children of cultural cultivation appear to be stiff. The factor of how one comfortably expresses one’s opinion with adults shows no relevance because according to Lareau they’ve done that all their lives. It’s about giving that air of warmth that makes people want to be around one, not just because one knows what they’re talking about, but that one can listen to their story and make it more than just another conversation. It’s not the topic of what is being said that signifies important; it’s about who’s saying what and how they say it.

As a child of natural growth, my parents brought me up on an environment surrounded by family. Since my parents were both born and brought up in Nigeria it has affected me in the way that I see people in terms of family because in Nigeria one’s aunts, uncles and cousins by blood aren’t ones only family. When asking my father how he would categorize my upbringing he said

The Africans believe in a community involvement raising a child. Every member of the community is involved in raising any child. We also believe in respect, hard work, and extended family formation.

My dad is an avid speaker on what traditional Nigerian custom is about. He believes in sayings like “passing with flying colors” and “do the work now and have fun later”, so in my house getting an A was the only option you had. While growing up in my house I was constantly surrounded by people I called my family. In Nigeria, one’s family is the compound one lives in and those they grew up with. In the Nigerian culture, it is considered disrespectful to call someone older than you that are not in your direct family (like sisters, brothers, mother, and father) by their first name. My parents surrounded me with aunts, uncles, and cousins and whether related by blood or not, they were family. We were always at someone’s house or someone was always at our house. Either way I could never claim my house to be silent. Lareau’s idea of the reproduction of social stature takes precedence in this case because my father chose to raise me how he was raised with a sense of respect for my elder, a drive to ace everything I am for and a sense of a community of  family.

My parents seem to share the same view on almost everything. They both chose to raise both me and my siblings according to their African culture, which to me was natural growth. Since I’ve known my mother, she has always been an outspoken person so I was shocked to hear that she wasn’t always that way. When asking her if how she was raised helped her in her child rearing skills she stated that

One of the disadvantages of my upbringing was that children were meant to be seen not to be heard. Because of this I was a very shy and quite person and this was alright with me until I came to America in 1970’s. I was amazed to see the freedom of speech that American children have. So I encouraged my children not to be shy and to speak up when they have to.

As stated earlier, respect signifies an important factor in the Nigerian culture so speaking out without being directly addressed just didn’t happen. I can remember when I was younger and we had guest over, the only thing required of me and my siblings was to say hello, bring out the refreshments, and then say goodbye. I can see now how that reflects back to my mothers past. I can also remember various times when my mother told me and my siblings to not let anyone walk over us because we had an equal to talk as much as they did. How my mother raised me to be more outspoken has definitely helped me in how I project my persona today. While not seen as the loudest person in the room I still get my opinion out there when I see it as warranted because I know that I have the right to do so. In this case Lareau’s sense of entitlement theory doesn’t add up because I, as a child of natural growth with a sprinkle of concerted cultivation, know that I am entitled to just as many things and oppurtunities as anyone out there.

Lareau uses the use of language as a subject in her study. She notes the differences in the interactions between children of concerted cultivation and those of natural growth. She gives examples by comparing and contrasting the different outcomes that come as result of either type of child rearing. Lareau gives statements that give value to her argument. To justify her argument she uses data from a researcher named Shirley Brice Heath who writes that

Parents differ in whether they treat young children (who cannot talk) as potential conversation partners. Some mothers [concerted cultivation mothers] interact with their infants as if they were engaged in a conversation: “There, there, doesn’t that feel better now?” Pause. “Are you ready for your nap?” Pause. The young children are not capable of answering at this point in their lives, but as they become able to, they will come to view themselves as conversation partners for adults. In other behave as if infants and young children are viable conversation partners. (Lareau 107)

Lareau uses this research to state the conversational differences between parents and their child in terms of the rearing of concerted cultivation and natural growth. When looking back to the videos of myself as a child I can see people talking to me even though I’m quite sure I was oblivious to the conversations directed towards me, but I can also recall them talking around me. Even now at my current age my parents tend to talk around me, or about me when they either think that the subject doesn’t involve me, or that I can’t hear them. I can relate to the mother talking to her child saying “Are you ready for your nap?” because I do that when watching my cousins-I don’t know why, it’s just a habit. I’m not sure if Lareau’s support of Heath’s research is justified because while sure that my mother spoke to me as a baby, saying things like, “There, there, doesn’t that feel better now?” when she fixed of my cuts and bruises, I’m also sure she made the “googoo” “gaga” sounds also and I don’t say words like “googoo” and “gaga” and think of it as a hot conversation topic. I don’t think that necessary to have a daily conversation with a baby in order for it to accumulate the use of words because I see it as, a child hears everything. No matter whether they can comprehend it or not, the child’s mind still takes in the words that they hear. The environment also factors in a significant role. As a teacher my father would always bring home a new book for me to read or a new math problem to solve. Sometimes I even helped him grade papers for age groups twice as old as me. It helped me to be ahead of the game when entering school and in life because I already knew what hard work entailed and how to approach a situation, whether a conversation with an adult or a child. My parents reared me in terms of me knowing my place in regards to respect, so when Heath speaks of parents who talk around their child rather than with them, I guess that can be considered me. But it means more than just how it was said. When relating it to my family it showed a sign of respect to say “excuse me” or wait until the adult conversation finished before interjecting with an opinion. Heath speaks of whether talking about the new political candidate or asking to hang outside with the neighborhood kids. The first, in correlation to a child of concerted cultivation and the latter, to a child of natural growth. In regards to language in general it mainly correlates back to more than just ones first word, but the meaning behind that word to one self.

In conclusion, Lareau’s theory on the differences of child rearing whether through concerted cultivation or natural growth proves itself to be accurate under certain circumstances. Though her theories can not be correlated with everyone’s life experiences due to the fact that her research was based on the environments she was put into with the chosen families that she stayed with. There is no possible way in which she can make one statement to account for all the children of the world. Lareau’s thesis on the matter of the rearing of a child can be said to have some sort of significance when speaking of how not everyone turns out the same because not everyone was reared in the same fashion.

Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life. Berkley: University of California Press, 2003. Print.



Bourdieu MisRecognition Quote
Monday April 19th 2010, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In the YouTube short film, A Girl Like Me, a teenage girl speaks about what she sees as a typical view of beauty. She uses herself and friends in the documentary to show the different views and opinions of beauty when it comes to the different tones of skin color and textures of hair. It was stated that the majority favored the “lighter-skin girls” with the “long straight hair”. She went on to conduct an experiment that she had read about by a scientist, which was to have young children of color choose between a black and a white doll which was conducted about sixty years ago. She asked questions like which doll is the good/bad doll and which one they liked better and the majority choose the white dolls. Pierre Bourdieu argues in “The Economy of Symbolic Goods” that

“These common dispositions, and the shared doxa they establish, are the product of an identical or similar socialization leading to the generalized incorporation of the structures of the market of symbolic goods in the form of cognitive structures in agreement with the objective structures of that market. 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.”

Bourdieu gives an interpretation of how we as people are unaware of the subconscious things we do.  According to Bourdieu, these common views and opinions of what we see as right and wrong give weight to the reason of why we share similar traits with other people. People who in every normal sense would have nothing in common with us, but when looking further, similar traits are sought out. It puts thought into how one processes the things around oneself and how these thoughts affect ones point of view. The separation of how your mind processes things cannot simply rely on your awareness due to the fact that we observe most things in a subconscious viewpoint. Every time someone takes in something new, your mind changes and adjusts to a new awareness in order to keep up in the modern world. This is seen as survivor tactic in order for one to progress. Whether within oneself or in terms of the image one presents into the social world. Our mind-set for survival is instilled in us subconsciously. In the end, we are the product of what we observe. Taking in everything, but using what we see as a foremost view in society, like the little black girl in the YouTube video.  When asked which doll was the good doll she choose the white doll and when asked which doll was the bad doll, she choose the black doll. When asked which doll she liked better, she immediately picked up the white doll and then when asked which doll she looked like, her hand hesitated above the white doll, but she then reluctantly dragged the black doll towards herself, saying that it was the doll that looked most like her. This experiment is a result to what Bourdieu was saying because his view/interpretation on what he sees as how we as people take in information is accurate. It’s accurate because these children haven’t been in the world long enough to determine whether white/black is good/bad. They have subconsciously formed an opinion (doxa) based on the environment and the people that surround them. This little girl saw a look exchanged or heard a statement that formed her view of what she saw as good/bad or what was appropriate to be likable. The simple act of her hesitation to grab her own colored doll, when asked which looked like her, gives Bourdieu a platform to state his case.



Response to Mardi Gras film
Monday April 19th 2010, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What do you notice about how discipline is displayed in the film?  What about the differences in class and how they are lived?  What kinds or connections can you make between the film and Lareau’s or Bourdieu’s theories of social reality?

The sweatshop workers in China appear to have a strict sense of discipline shown in the way they are willing to work up to 16 hours a day in order to get paid accordingly. I think that their boss is giving out a false sense of discipline in the way he treats his workers because his way of disciplining is either his way or no way, though it is effective is still doesn’t work best for him. If he were to stop and think he would factor in that the happier the worker is the more efficiency they put into their work without speeding to catch up to the deadline that was rigorously set for them to achieve in a short amount of time. The differences in class structure is shown between the workers and the factory owner. When going home one of the girls bought her little brother a watch who was so existed about learning to tell time while her mother told her that she was wasting money. This shows how tight-nit they about saving their money. When the factory owner went home you saw his nice shiny car and wide walls which by themselves was a huge contradiction to the girl who went home whose walls were peeling and dully lighted. With this situation Lareau’s theory of how the middle class appear to be more well rounded is false because the boss of the factory appears to lack the intelligence to factor in the comfort of his workers. The girl in the video who speaks of dropping out of her school because her parents couldn’t afford to pay for both her and her brother appears to be the smart one. She came to the conclusion on her own that medicine wasn’t for so she wasn’t going to waste her parents money when it can be efficiently used to educate her brother who was more interested of school. Her maturity in this situation shows the intelligence needed to factor a situation that her boss lacks. As for Bourdieu’s theory on how the dominated follow the dominant it rings true in this situation because when the girl went home for vacation her father said how in order to be successful you had leave (the area where they lived) and go to work in the city. He was following something that was already set in being “the way” to do things which made him the dominated led by the dominant.



Essay 1 Assignment
Sunday April 04th 2010, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In the book, Lareau documents her findings that were found out through her ethnographic studies. She writes of how she used various methods in order to compare and contrast how different people from different backgrounds live. She compares everything from social status, to race, to activities in daily life. The conclusion of her hypothesis is to find how or if children today are grouped in terms of education and social status according to whom their parents are and where they live. In the book she conducts different types of experiments in order to justify the accuracy of her conclusion. During her thesis Lareau states that

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

Lareau uses this quote by C. Wright Mills as an epigraph to format the thought process of one of her chapters. She states that the measure of a person’s life can only be determined by where they were, in reference to the schools they attended and the environment they were brought up in. She then goes on to justify this statement by comparing two schools. She compares and contrasts between Lower Richmond School in the city and Swan School in the suburbs and states the differences in their institutions and their surrounding

community. When describing the differences in schools it’s easy to distinguish and label which school would be referred as middle class and which one was in a lower class. When speaking of Lower Richmond, Lareau states how the building is old with few windows and splotches of paint on the walls that are constantly being put up to cover graffiti. The environment that she describes that surrounds the area is hectic, loud and nonstop with places all around that were filled with life and action. When describing Swan, Lareau speaks of windows surrounding all the walls and an elaborate playground. The environment that surrounds it had nothing within walking distance, with no major traffic, only big “Costco” like stores and parking lots. A huge contrasting fact for me was the difference in the surroundings, not in the community but around these elementary schools. Lower Richmond was surrounded by a “high grey chain-like fence” while Swan was “open and inviting” with no fence to surround it. Something so simple as a fence, has a significant place into how Lareau judges individuals in reference to their institutions. She showed how simple it was to make an observation with no people around and just looking at things and objects that spoke for themselves. While Swan School was better funded due to their management of their funds (ex. No air conditioning because windows all around, reasonable, if cold-close window, if hot-open window…simple) with it’s “five-star” playground and open grass that the children could play on, Lower Richmond School appeared to be less manageable with their savings (money was most likely being drained from the constant painting over the graffiti walls).

Annette Lareau also states that the relationship between a parent and child can determine the stature of things. Also the relationship between that child and their siblings. She relates how these things equate to how the child will handle the future. How they handle their education and all the situations thrown at them from different angles. She uses all of these things as a census of how one becomes successful. Lareau said that

“There are differences in other aspects of children’s school performance according to their parents’ social structural location. Many studies demonstrate the crucial role of educational success in determining occupational success. Parents’ social class position predicts children’s school success and thus their ultimate life chances.”(Lareau 29)

This quote said by Lareau states that how a child performs in their education depends upon where their parent came from in terms of social status. She gives the impression that in order to gain success in the career of your future you would first have to achieve success in the educational system. Her interpretation of how successful you are is how successful your parents, in their social class and that all determines how far you will get in life. My theory of her thesis of this situation is that I don’t agree because while going in depth about why and how she came to this conclusion, her facts appear to be vague (in my opinion) because not everyone’s the same. I see it in the way that you can’t judge all situations on one example. One of the conclusions she made when making this statement was that parents should take a leadership role in their child’s education and a parent not showing up for a parent-teacher conference was a sign that they did not value their child’s education. When hearing this I related it to myself and came to the conclusion that

it wasn’t quite accurate because despite the fact that my parents were avid contributors to dragging me to parent-teacher conference, I never perceived as a duty, it was just something they continuously did. Also, in terms of leadership in my education, I took it upon myself to learn. Yes, my parents did initially put me in daycare then pre-school then elementary school. So they did take a leadership role, but it was up to me to maintain my level of interest. That’s why I say that one can’t judge everyone in terms of one situation because everyone’s different. You can’t push someone into who they’re not or don’t want to be. Despite which “social class” you’re in, we’re all the same because in the end we’re the ones that mold ourselves. The only thing that I partially agree with her on is when she says “The more elite the school, the more richly graduates are rewarded.” I partially agree with this because it’s something you can go out in the world to see it with your own eyes. A simple example of this is if I were to go to a job interview and hear that someone who graduated from either Harvard, Yale, or Brown is going up against me for the same job, I would highly question the fact that I went to a CUNY College. In comparison the measures just don’t add up, but then again (where I become partial) if I graduate top of my class in my CUNY College and the people from Harvard, Yale, or Brown didn’t even meet up to the top ten of their class, I would see myself as more likely to be “rewarded’ despite the non-elite status of my school.

How you see yourself is determined by who you are. Who you are, is determined by how you were brought up. How you were brought is how your parents raised you. Now…how your parents raised you is determined by how they saw fit. Child rearing is defined by how a child is brought up to live. Whether in terms of manners, social activities, view points, and so many other things that go into who you are to become someone of the future. Lareau says.

“On the basis of the data collected, I develop the claim that common economic position in the society, defined in terms of social class membership, is closely tied to differences in the cultural logic of child rearing.” (Lareau 31)

It is stated that your status in terms of economic level and in society is determined by how you were raised. Lareau gives two ways in which one raises a child. One is concerted cultivation. The other, the accomplishment of natural growth. I would say that I’m a mix of both concerted cultivation and natural growth. Concerted cultivation is said to be childrearing that teaches lessons through organized activities that help prepare your child for white collar jobs and the types of interactions that a white collar worker encounters. Key elements of this child-rearing approach is parent’s actively encouraging their children to express their opinions and giving the children a strict schedule filled with various activities. All this is said to be a successful way for the children to be more open and social to the outside world and when coming of age, so they are knowledgeable about certain viewpoints of the world while also giving their input to what they think of a certain topic. The accomplishment of natural growth involves less organized activities and more free time for the child to play with other children in the neighborhood. This type of child-rearing is parents caring for their children while allowing them to grow without the burden of a hefty schedule. Children of this type of rearing are said to be more close-knit with their extended family and have more leisure time to hang out with friends. These children are also said to only be able to afford at least one activity per year

unlike those in concerted cultivation who “routinely (spend) hundreds and even thousands of dollars per year promoting children’s activities.” The parents who rear their children by natural growth appear to me stricter only in terms of restricting the challenging of an opinion to their child. Lareau states that children of concerted cultivation  appear to have a greater sense of entitlement while those of natural growth appear to lack confidence in terms of what it is that their entitled to. Lareau also states that those who are reared by concerted cultivation tend to be more social when going into the workforce but I disagree because I see it that children of natural growth are more social because during their free time they hang out with friends or go to family members houses and it gives them a sense of closeness. On the other hand, children of concerted cultivation appear to be …stiff. It’s not about being comfortable to share their opinion with adults because according to Lareau they’ve done that all their lives. It’s about giving that air of warmth that makes people want to be around you, not just because you know what they’re talking about, but that you can listen to their story and make it more than just another conversation. It’s not the topic of what is being said that’s important; it’s who’s saying it and how it’s being said.



3/4/10-In-class
Sunday April 04th 2010, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

5-Minute Free Write (I Remember When…)

i remember when i was 6 and walking into the dance school down the block that i heard a lot of noise from everytime i went to the store. just walking past was an experience because you could simply feel the energy of it all just by standing outside the doors. i remember being so excited when walking past one day to see that they were having an open house for new members. i remember begging my mother to let me go and the excitement of the anticipation of waiting for the day to come. i remember when they day finally came and me, my mom, my brother, and my sister walked into the door with the noise behind it that gave so much energy. I remember thinking how humongous the place looked compared to my teeny old self. And looking around trying to take everything in. From the chandelier light by the entrance to the music in the backroom that led to the swinging door that held a huge dance studio behind it.

10-Minute Free Write (I Remember When…)

i remember when i was in the fourth grade and i got a nose bleed that just wouldn’t stop. i was sitting in class doing my work when all of a sudden splot! a big red dot appears on my notebook. at first i was flabbergasted because i thought that my pen had exploded but then i remembered that we were doing math so i was using a pencil. and then splot! another red drop appears. it’s then i realized it was coming from me. so i looked around to see if anyone was looking at me and then i raised my hand to ask the teacher if i could go to the bathroom. when i got to the bathroom, i washed my face with cold water for a few seconds and then headed back to class. because i thought it had stopped. but 5 minutes later splot! another red dot on my book. this time when i raised my hand i waved the teacher over and told her what was going on and she gave me some tissue and told me to hold my head back for a few minutes. well that’s what i did…for a few seconds. me, being an impatient 8 year old kid was getting agitated with the crick i was getting in my neck from holding back my head. but this time when i put my head back down it was even worse ’cause it wasn’t splots anymore it was just flowing out. i called the teacher over again and she got mad because i didn’t listen.



3/2/10-In-class
Sunday April 04th 2010, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Time I almost I died

I was in the passenger’s seat while my sister was driving and a bus was pulling away from the bus stop from the right and the road was narrow. So there wasn’t enough room for both our car and the bus to go through. So it was either or. My sister saw that we had the right of way so she kept driving straight as the bus swung out trying to go into the same lane as us almost clipping the passenger’s seat by practically an inch. And that was the time I almost died.

Time when I saw a child misbehave in public

I was on the bus one time when this lady got on with her two kids and this guy with a wheelchair was in the back of the bus and the little boy kept saying “look at

that ugly old man” loud enough for everyone to hear and he looked about eight at most. So he knew he was being rude and inappropriate but just didn’t care despite the fact that his mom & sister were telling him to be quiet.

What does this say about the child’s rearing?

I think that the child reflects their parents rearing of them by showing that the parents aren’t as strict or attentive as they should be because by that age I knew how to respect people no matter whom they were.



2/25/10-Quiz
Sunday April 04th 2010, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What I think of the Greek life

I think that sororities and fraternities are very interesting because of the supposed “bond” that they say is shared. I wonder what it would be like to join a sorority because I think it would be a new and interesting experience. I also think that joining will give me an upper hand in the workforce due to my alumni sisters and the situation i was put into in meeting new people making me more social and approachable which is a good factor to have in the real world of the workforce.

Stereotypes attached to Greek life

They’re jocks & prim donnas. They only care about partying. They haze each other, sometimes putting people’s health in danger. Pledges are treated like slaves.

Who was Andrew Goodman?

Andrew Goodman is the 20 year old white student from Queens College who went missing with two other civil rights workers.



2/23/10-Quiz
Sunday April 04th 2010, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What does SLANT stand for?

Sit up straight.

Look and Listen.

Ask and Answer questions.

Nod your head.

Track the speaker with your eyes.

What social class am i and why?

I think that I belong to the lower middleclass because of the jobs that my parents have and how financially stable we are. We aren’t poor but we also aren’t donald trump rich, so I would say that we fit somewhere in the middle. We live in a niche neighborhood close to large houses in a predominantly stable community.

Who’s the opposite class from you & the interactions you had with them.

The opposite from me would be the upper middle class because they don’t have to be as protective with their money in terms of saving. I have friends who I would consider upper middleclass and they buy things purely off the name brand despite the cost whether it’s ugly or simply a $50 plain t-shirt just so they can say they got it from “…” when we’re talking about their clothes. They’re more aware of who’s who in fashion while I only care about the quality of the clothes and whose name is on the tag.