In the context of growing diversity, Shirley A. Hill examines the work parents do in raising their children. Based on interviews and survey data, African American Children includes blacks of various social classes as well as a comparative sample of whites. It covers major areas of child socialization: teaching values, discipline strategies, gender socialization, racial socialization, extended families -- showing how both race and class make a difference, and emphasizing patterns that challenge existing research that views black families as a monolithic group.

Parenting Work

Parenting work

Black child socialization must necessarily be different from that of children reared in the white middle-class tradition, because of the sociohistorical differences that exist between the two groups … [The lower-class pattern] also differs to a great extent from the Black middle class, whose child-rearing practices are often similar to those of the white middle-class, but yet dissimilar in the sense that Black parents can never give their children the ultimate protection from racism which white parents exercise.

JoyceLadner, Tomorrow's Tomorrow (1971, p. 96)

The sociological study of the family offers two interrelated approaches to understanding child socialization processes: general theories of child development and theories about effective child-rearing strategies. Child development theories, such as those proposed by Sigmund Freud, George Herbert Mead, and ...

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