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Sociological Significance of Family Essay


Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families

Lareau (747) argues that social class has a significant influence on how parents raise their children. This assertion magnifies the influence of social and cultural dynamics in child development. On one hand, it shows the socialization of children along with the class cohort and on the other hand, it shows the influence of social conformity for parents and children alike. The assertion of Lareau (747) affirms what I have always understood as the role of the family in class reproduction. For example, Bourdieu (1) said social classes affected the behavior and opportunities of children in life. In sum, parents tend to socialize their children according to class expectations, thereby reinforcing the role of the family in class reproduction.

Doubling Up as a Private Safety Net for Families with Children

This section of the paper evaluates a survey by Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) in their research titled, doubling up as a private safety net for families with children. Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) aimed to estimate the economic value of doubling-up (living with family members and relatives) to low-income families. Their study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study after sampling about 5000 respondents. The study also contained back-to-back interviews from parents, which occurred over a period of nine years. Data collection started before the 2007 stock market crash and stretched to the height of unemployment in October 2009. The main findings of the study showed that doubling-up was important for new families, especially in their first few years of inception.

After evaluating the quality of the data used in the study, this paper finds that the data used by Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) was timely. Indeed, for a study that aimed to investigate the economic effects of doubling-up as an economic safety net for low-income families, the 2007/2008 economic recession provided a good backdrop for the collection of economic data for low-income families. The use of the population sampling method however emerged to be an interesting choice of sampling because of its affinity to invoke ethical and legal issues. For example, many human populations have a high geographic affinity thereby making it easy to infer the ethnicity and demographics of the sample. However, there were minimal conflicts that emerged through this vulnerability.

Through the methods adopted by Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) in their study of the family, several issues emerge here regarding how sociologists conduct their research. Di Domenico & Morrison (268) say that many sociology researchers prefer to represent social dynamics with different goals in mind. For example, like researchers from other disciplines, sociologists like to predict social issues if they understand their independent and dependent variables.

Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) used doubling-up as the independent variable and economic success as the dependent variable to show how the economic benefits of doubling-up for low-income families. This analysis shows that many sociologists also adopt empiricism, just as other scientists do.

Fusari (501) says many sociologists often use observation, hypotheses, and deductions to come up with their findings. Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) used the deduction technique by deducing their findings through the data obtained from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing studies (conformity to the argument of Fusari 501). Another notable dynamic that many sociologists adopt in their quest to understand social phenomena through cultural cohorts.

Indeed, many sociologists often attempt to address cultural, racial, or economic cohorts of their findings. Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) do so through the representation of different groups of low-income families (especially through immigrant status and race). Through such comparisons, the findings of Pilkauskas & McLanahan (1) resemble other sociology studies.

Works Cited

Bourdieu, Pierre. Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1977. Print.

Di Domenico, MariaLaura and Morrison, Alison. “Social action research and small hospitality firms.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 15.5 (2003): 268 – 273. Print.

Fusari, Angelo. “A reconsideration on the method of economic and social sciences: Procedure, rules, classifications.” International Journal of Social Economics 31.5 (2004): 501 – 535. Print.

Lareau, Annette. “Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families.” American Sociological Review 67.2 (2002): 747-776. Print.

Pilkauskas, Natasha and McLanahan, Sara 2013, Doubling Up as a Private Safety Net for Families with Children. Web.

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