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Concerted Cultivation/Natural Growth

Annette Lareau drew the concepts of “concerted cultivation” and the “accomplishment of natural growth” from her qualitative research on 88 families in the midwestern and northeastern United States. She carried out intensive naturalistic observations of 12 of these families in the mid-1990s. In Unequal Childhoods, Annette Lareau concludes that middle-class families differ from working-class and poor families in key ways: organized leisure activities, language, boundaries between adults and children, interactions with kin, and interventions with institutions. Working-class and poor parents enact the accomplishment of natural growth. Their children participate in few, if any, organized leisure activities. Parents use directives in speaking to children, see a clear boundary between the activities of adults and children, families have extensive interactions with kin, and parents do not tend ...

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