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Read, Explore and Reflect Paper

The purpose of this paper is to explore one of three course texts and related topics with greater depth while applying course concepts and theories to real-life situations, as well as to get a taste of fieldwork and qualitative research. Choose one of the options below. If you choose the Unequal Childhoods or Longing and Belonging option, be sure to read the tip sheet about interviewing and writing up before starting the project.

Formatting guidelines for all papers: You will submit two documents for this assignment. One document will combine the “read” and “reflect” sections and the other will be the “explore” section. Please give your paper a title that indicates what version of the assignment you are doing and use subheadings to indicate the different sections. The combined “read” and “reflect” section should be 5-6 pages (double spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point font). The “reflect” section should be a bit longer and will be a more important part of your grade than the “read” section. The second document is the “explore” portion of the essay. This does not have a page limit and will vary in length according to the project you choose. The quality of the work and effort evident in this part of the paper will be an important part of your overall grade.

Make sure to proofread and edit your paper. Points will be deducted for sloppy work. Please include a reference list at the end of the paper, even if the only work referenced is the book you have been asked to discuss.

Intersections of Family and School: Unequal Childhoods

Read: Summarize and explain the different parenting styles Lareau describes, and how they are related to race and class, addressing the following four points. How are they different from each other? What are advantages and disadvantages of each style from the perspective of children? What is the broader significance of these parenting styles in terms of what Lareau describes as “institutional advantages” (or disadvantages)? What does Lareau conclude about the role of race/ethnicity in parenting based on her study? Use examples from the book to illustrate your points.

Explore: Use the interview guides provided to interview a parent with a school-age child you know about their parenting philosophy and style and their interactions with the teachers and staff at their child’s school. Then, (with the parent’s permission), interview the child about how they spend their time outside of school and their feelings about school and their teachers. Then, write-up your interviews, including the questions you asked and the responses given. While you do not need to transcribe the interview, you should strive to provide enough detail as possible to reconstruct your interviews. Also include some observations of where the interview took place and the appearances and manner of the parent and child and any other information you think is relevant. Make sure to refer to the document called “Read, Explore and Reflect Interview Tips” for more information on how to conduct the interview and write it up. You will turn in your interview write-ups for the “explore” section of the paper.

Reflect: Use your interview write-ups to discuss the following questions.

1) Based on your interviews, how would you characterize the parenting style of your respondent and why, according to the parenting styles Lareau describes? Bring in details from the interview to support your discussion. Discuss whether you think Lareau’s parenting styles are a good fit for the parent/child pair you interviewed. Based on Lareau’s work, how might some of the parenting practices described in your interview influence the child’s experiences at school?

2) Describe your reaction to Lareau’s arguments and conclusions. Do you have any critiques of the work? What questions does this book raise for you? Do you see any policy implications for her arguments?

3)How would you characterize the way you were raised in Lareau’s terms? Do you wish your parents had done things differently?

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