Technological Choices

Tables B.2—B. io all show responses to questions concerning the devices of connection, constraint, and surveillance (discussed in chapters 5—7). Once again I caution that because these tables build on qualitative responses, the categories are meant to be illustrative rather than definitive. In addition, not all respondents gave responses to all questions. Devices of Connection […]

Data Analysis

Educational Aspirations Table B. i shows responses to the question of how much education parents want their children to obtain (an issue discussed in chapter 2). The “college plus” category indicates that the respondent suggested that it might well be desirable to have education that extends beyond a bachelor’s degree; the “more than college” category […]

Race/Ethnicity and Gender

Not surprisingly, there are demographic differences within the sample with respect to race/ethnicity: more of the African American respondents were sin­gle parents at the time of the interview, and more of this group of respondents lived in an urban area. At the same time, as noted, the professional middle — class and the working-class/middle-class groupings […]

Comparing Social Classes

None of the three social class groupings is exclusively made up of white respondents; in fact, the racial/ethnic distribution is fairly consistent across the social groups. The only exceptions to this generalization are that the working-class and middle-class group includes a more substantial Hispanic population than does the professional middle-class group, and the few Asian […]


I n this book I rely on information collected during in-depth interviews with ninety-three parents.11 asked parents to answer a series of questions about the two main issues of concern in this research: first, parenting practices and, second, attitudes toward and use of various new technologies of connection, constraint, and surveillance. In addition, I asked […]

Unequal Outcomes

Social class differences in child-rearing practices have been clearly linked to differences in educational achievement as measured by grades, standardized test scores, and college attendance; in turn, these differences in educational achievement give rise to enormously unequal life chances.4 Interestingly, now that the “hovering” of professional middle-class parents does not appear to end when children […]

Concerns about Children

Cracks in a World View No matter what the origins of the parenting style of the professional middle — class parents with whom I spoke, those parents appear to doubt themselves more often than do the working-class and middle-class parents. Indeed, the latter sets of parents often seem quite confident about their child-rearing approach.6 The […]

The Dimensions of Class

My use of social class throughout this book distinguishes little among mate­rial, social, and cultural meanings. Each of these is relevant to how I believe it is that parents choose among competing strategies and among existing technologies. Recall, for example, Peter Chaplin, the divorced, middle-class father of a thirteen-year-old. Peter is tempted by private school […]