Professor Justin Tapia
28 October 2014
The Effects of Social Class on Child-Rearing
It is common to say that the United States does not have the same problems regarding social class in our current age because we are much more economically and culturally diverse than before. However, America is still made up of different classes, all of which clearly affect the families that live within them. Indeed we all know that social class affects the lives of families, but to what extent? Moreover, how does it affect children socially? Despite the casual assumption that the development of children solely depends on culture and race, the true, decisive factor determining the overall outcome of the characteristics of a child is the social class they are brought up in.
Sociologists generally refer social class as "a group of individuals who occupy a similar position in the economic system of production" (University of Delaware).
While America is usually sociologically divided into six social classes (an upper/capitalist class, an upper-middle class, a middle class, a working class, a lower class, and a lower-lower class), social class's effects on childrearing are specifically based on a four-class system (upper, middle, working, and lower). In general, the upper class consists of the rich and powerful, while the middle class consists of educated professionals. The working class consists of blue collar, routine-type work individuals, while the lower contains those with the lowest social rank with low income and/or low standards regarding skills and education. Parents within their relative social class reap both the benefits and negatives of such. Their children, however, receive most of the social and psychological consequences of these lifestyles.
Social class affects a child's performance in school, more than the parenting techniques and "good parenting" in general. According to a 2010...