By A. Kusserow

What are difficult and tender individualisms? during this distinctive ethnography of 3 groups in long island and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and academics (from prosperous to these on welfare) at the different types of tough and smooth individualisms they inspire of their young ones and scholars. American Individualisms explores the $64000 factor of sophistication changes within the socialization of individualism in the United States. It provides American individualism now not as one unmarried homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as usually claimed to be, yet as variable, class-differentiated types of individualism instilled in childrens via their mom and dad and preschool academics in new york and Queens. via supplying wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with tremendously various visions of the long run, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and accepted discussions of yank individualism.

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Extra resources for American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods

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I was also only able to interview three Queenston fathers; this low number was often because the mothers felt the father wouldn’t be appropriate, the father was working two jobs, or there was no husband at the moment. Compared to the Kelley houses, some of the Queenston homes were quite dark, with shades drawn and doors locked. At times I felt invasive, as if this was as awkward for some of the mothers as it was for me. These were the same mothers who seemed to view the interview as a test they must do well on or a task they would do because their child’s preschool teacher had asked them to.

Not all Queenston parents were like this, however. Some of the parents seemed totally unself-conscious, relaxed, and quite open about their lives. This immediately put me at ease as well, and in general the conversation flowed much more freely. One father, a prison guard at a local prison, was incredibly proud of his success in life and couldn’t have been happier to show me his house and family pictures and talk about his past. Another woman, recovering from drug and alcohol abuse and struggling financially to support her three kids, was also quite open about her struggles in life, her recent divorce, and life on welfare.

Even if the world is that bad, I don’t want my daughter goin’ around and complaining all the time. There’s a lot of things to complain about, but there’s always somebody worse off than you. 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.

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