Adaptation to Life
George E. Vaillant Harvard University Press, 1977 Library of Congress BF335.V35 1995 | Dewey Decimal 155.6
Between 1939 and 1942, one of America's leading universities recruited 268 of its healthiest and most promising undergraduates to participate in a revolutionary new study of the human life cycle. George Vaillant, director of this study, took the measure of the Grant Study men. The result was the compelling, provocative classic, Adaptation to Life, which poses fundamental questions about the individual differences in confronting life's stresses.
"'The Big Chill' told only half the story of where Sixties activists ended up. Whalen and Flacks... honestly chronicle the other half."
"What happens to youthful idealism as people leave their youth behind? ...Where do young revolutionaries go when the revolution doesn't happen?"
Amid the social and political turmoil of the late 1960s, student demonstrations on college campuses and in nearby communities looked like a prelude to apocalypse. By 1970 radical students at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), were involved in burning the Bank of America branch in Isla Vista and a series of riots and demonstrations that culminated in hundreds of arrests, numerous injuries, and one student death. To some campus observers, the violence and property damage were nothing more than a meaningless rampage--privileged students running amok. To those actively involved in the student movement and the Radical Union, the second American revolution was at hand. The disparate views of these events persist some twenty years later.
In Beyond the Barricades, Whalen and Flacks challenge the conventional wisdom, which holds that the Sixties Generation soon outgrew their political ideals and channeled their energies into building lucrative careers and accumulating material goods. For nine years, the authors have maintained contact with eighteen men and women who participated in the UCSB student movement, asking probing questions about the long-term significance of political commitment to individual lives. They have also tracked fourteen former students who were part of the sorority/fraternity subculture in an attempt to discern whether the paths of the two student groups tend to converge as they grow older.
This study grows out of the student activists' own assessments of the events at UCSB and the lives they have shaped in subsequent years. It demonstrates that student activists did not abandon their beliefs or become disillusioned with the prospects for social change as they left the university and ventured into the adult world. Indeed, their present political convictions and vocational commitments are largely consistent with their past views--even as they have had to adapt to changes in their personal needs and in the social climate.
In asking where the students are now, the authors illuminate something about how our society has been affected--culturally, institutionally, psychologically--by the movements and conflicts of the sixties. Whalen and Flacks "offer these stories in the same spirit that apparently guided [the] respondents: as contributions to the ongoing discourse on how we might live according to our dreams!"
"Whalen and Flacks are true Sixties sociologists--hip white knights who ride out to slay the ideal-crushing dragon of â€˜The Big Chill.' In all, a heart-on-the-sleeve, hopeful study that should appeal to social psychologists and Sixties sympathizers."
"In the first systematic study of the sequels to New Left radicalism, Whalen and Flacks bring alive the real choices of real activists. This is a lucid and enlightening book, full of stimulating ideas about continuities and fragilities in American radicalism."
--Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
"As Whalen and Flacks know, â€˜The Big Chill' was a lie. The earthquake called the Sixties changed lives--and this pioneering study explains why, showing how the generation schooled in activism has been struggling to keep faith with the ideal of social justice and democracy."
--James Miller, author of Democracy is in the Streets
"Beyond the Barricades...is, in short, very good sociology of the intimate close-up sort. And it helps us to understand that most of the so-called yuppies are not (as we have cynically been led to believe) ex-hippies or student radicals, but rather very probably come from that majority of 1960s students who were never either."
--Bennett M. Berger, University of California, San Diego
Firms in the United States have many political advantages when compared to other groups in society. They are the best-represented group in our nation's capital; they operate more Political Action Committees; and their lobbyists are among the most experienced political operatives. Yet firms are uncertain about their political power and hence about the effectiveness of their political strategies. This book deals with how firms decide which strategy to pursue among the existing alternatives when it comes to defending policies that play to their interests.
Sandra Suárez looks at the efforts of business to influence government policy in a detailed study of the efforts of major American corporations to protect the tax credit applicable to profits from investments in Puerto Rico. This rare longitudinal case-study explores the abilities of U.S. pharmaceutical and electronics companies to adapt their political strategies to a fluid and uncertain political environment. Drawing on interviews with tax lawyers, corporate lobbyists and government officials, the author follows the behavior of the same group of companies over the past twenty years.
This book advances a learning-based explanation of business political behavior, which argues that past political experience accounts for patterns of political behavior that government structures and salient issues alone cannot explain. Centered on attempts to protect an important tax break for business, the possessions tax battles provide an appropriate case for examining the value of the business learning approach.
Although written with a political science audience in mind, this book addresses issues that will resonate widely with sociologists, management researchers and students alike.
Sandra L. Suárez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Temple University.
Ecologists can spend a lifetime researching a small patch of the earth, studying the interactions between organisms and the environment, and exploring the roles those interactions play in determining distribution, abundance, and evolutionary change. With so few ecologists and so many systems to study, generalizations are essential. But how do you extrapolate knowledge about a well-studied area and apply it elsewhere?
Through a range of original essays written by eminent ecologists and naturalists, The Ecology of Place explores how place-focused research yields exportable general knowledge as well as practical local knowledge, and how society can facilitate ecological understanding by investing in field sites, place-centered databases, interdisciplinary collaborations, and field-oriented education programs that emphasize natural history. This unique patchwork of case-study narratives, philosophical musings, and historical analyses is tied together with commentaries from editors Ian Billick and Mary Price that develop and synthesize common threads. The result is a unique volume rich with all-too-rare insights into how science is actually done, as told by scientists themselves.
When a woman leaves prison, she enters a world of competing messages and conflicting advice. Staff from prison, friends, family members, workers at halfway houses and treatment programs all have something to say about who she is, who she should be, and what she should do. The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma offers an in-depth, firsthand look at how the former prisoner manages messages about returning to the community.
Over the course of a year, Andrea Leverentz conducted repeated interviews with forty-nine women as they adjusted to life outside of prison and worked to construct new ideas of themselves as former prisoners and as mothers, daughters, sisters, romantic partners, friends, students, and workers. Listening to these women, along with their family members, friends, and co-workers, Leverentz pieces together the narratives they have created to explain their past records and guide their future behavior. She traces where these narratives came from and how they were shaped by factors such as gender, race, maternal status, age, and experiences in prison, halfway houses, and twelve-step programs—factors that in turn shaped the women’s expectations for themselves, and others’ expectations of them. The women’s stories form a powerful picture of the complex, complicated human experience behind dry statistics and policy statements regarding prisoner reentry into society for women, how the experience is different for men and the influence society plays.
With its unique view of how society’s mixed messages play out in ex-prisoners’ lived realities, The Ex-Prisoner’s Dilemma shows the complexity of these women’s experiences within the broad context of the war on drugs and mass incarceration in America. It offers invaluable lessons for helping such women successfully rejoin society.
As Pittsburgh and its surrounding area grew into an important commercial and industrial center, a group of families emerged who were distinguished by their wealth and social position. Joseph Rishel studies twenty of these families to determine the degree to which they formed a coherent upper class and the extent to which they were able to maintain their status over time. His analysis shows that Pittsburgh's elite upper class succeeded in creating the institutions needed to sustain a local aristocracy and possessed the ability to adapt its accumulated advantages to social and economic changes.
Just what do we know about the current generation of young Americans? So little it seems that we have dubbed them Generation X. Coming of age in the 1980s and '90s, they hail from families in flux, from an intimate landscape changing faster and more profoundly than ever before. This book is the first to give us a clear, close-up picture of these young Americans and to show how they have been affected and formed by the tremendous domestic changes of the last three decades.
How have members of this generation fared at school and at work, as they have moved into the world and formed families of their own? Do their struggles or successes reflect the turbulence of their time? These are the questions A Generation at Risk answers in comprehensive detail. Based on a unique fifteen-year study begun in 1980, the book considers parents' socioeconomic resources, their gender roles and relations, and the quality and stability of their marriages. It then examines children's relations with their parents, their intimate and broader social affiliations, and their psychological well-being. The authors provide rare insight into how both familial and historical contexts affect young people as they make the transition to adulthood.
Perhaps surprising is the authors' finding that, in this era of shifting gender roles, children who grow up in traditional father-breadwinner, mother-homemaker families and those in more egalitarian, role-sharing families apparently turn out the same. Also striking are the beneficial influence of parental education on children and the troubling long-term impact of marital conflict and divorce--an outcome that prompts the authors to suggest policy measures that encourage marital quality and stability.
Table of Contents:
Family, Social Change, and Transition to Adulthood Study Design, Measures, and Analysis Relationships with Parents Intimate Relationships Social Integration Socioeconomic Attainment Psychological Well-Being
Conclusions, Implications, and Policy Recommendations
Appendix: Tables References Index
Reviews of this book: An important new book...Paul Amato and Alan Booth painstakingly analyze data from a large national sample of families, seeking especially to isolate the independent effects of divorce on children from the effects of preexisting marital conflict. The results call into question the rationalizations of our high divorce rate...Amato and Booth estimate that at most a third of divorces involving children are so distressed that the children are likely to benefit. The remainder, about 70%, involve low-conflict marriages that apparently harm children much less than do the realities of divorce...This remarkably countercultural conclusion will provoke many predictable reminders about toxic marriages and many repetitions of the familiar bromide that marital unhappiness, not 'divorce per se' is the real problem. But because of this book, we also will have a more informed discussion of the moral dimensions of the decision to divorce. Amato and Booth have helped us to recognize more clearly the potential conflicts between parental responsibility and adult desires for freedom, romance, sexual gratification and self-actualization. --Norval D. Glenn and David Blankenhorn, Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: [This] longitudinal study of the consequences of family instability and change in the USA...focused upon two generations--the parents and their offspring--and looked at how the relations between them changed over the survey time...[The] study provides an excellent opportunity to test some favorite popular assumptions--such as whether witnessing unhappiness in the parental home would lead to the inability to have happy relationships in one's own home. Or does having a 'liberated' or non-traditional mother harm children's development? The advantage of a longitudinal study is that we can examine these differences on the same people over time...This study would be of relevance to youth researchers interested in the 'life course' perspective as it provides a range of data and information of a kind which is seldom normally available...This is a well organized and documented study discussing quantitative findings in an accessible and enlightening way. --Claire Wallace, Journal of Youth Studies
Reviews of this book: A Generation at Risk summarizes [Amato and Booth's] pioneering longitudinal study which, between 1980 and 1992, interviewed a representative sample of 1,193 married persons with children. Amato and Booth also interviewed the adult children in 1992 and 1995. The book uses the life-course perspective and considers the impact of changing historical contexts on these families. It is intended for professionals, although the conclusions are vital to anyone who has even a passing interest in changes in contemporary families...This landmark work will frame scholarly discussions of parent-child dynamics for many years and belongs in every major library. --Larry R. Peterson, History
Reviews of this book: This important and disturbing book...carefully examines how parents' socioeconomic resources, gender roles, and degree of marital happiness affect their children's lives...It strikes a resounding note of alarm at recent trends in American family life. The work is based on the results of a finely drawn 15-year study of a nationwide sampling of married couples and their adult offspring. There are no glittering generalizations here; Amato and Booth provide rich contextual detail and easily readable tables as they consider, for example, the effect of maternal employment on daughters' social integration (largely positive)...Public libraries should not be deterred by this book's scholarly presentation: it speaks to us all. --Ellen Gilbert, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: What are the long-term effects on children of the great changes in the family that have occurred over the past several decades?...Paul Amato and Alan Booth's impressive study is one of the first to provide us with long-term data on this generation...Theirs is one of the few longitudinal surveys to measure marital quality and then to follow offspring for a long period, during which some of the parents divorce...A Generation at Risk is an important addition to the literature on the long-term effects of families on their children. --Andrew J. Cherlin, American Journal of Sociology
Foreword by Joan W. Moore When boxes of original files from a 1965 survey of Mexican Americans were discovered behind a dusty bookshelf at UCLA, sociologists Edward Telles and Vilma Ortiz recognized a unique opportunity to examine how the Mexican American experience has evolved over the past four decades. Telles and Ortiz located and re-interviewed most of the original respondents and many of their children. Then, they combined the findings of both studies to construct a thirty-five year analysis of Mexican American integration into American society. Generations of Exclusion is the result of this extraordinary project. Generations of Exclusion measures Mexican American integration across a wide number of dimensions: education, English and Spanish language use, socioeconomic status, intermarriage, residential segregation, ethnic identity, and political participation. The study contains some encouraging findings, but many more that are troubling. Linguistically, Mexican Americans assimilate into mainstream America quite well—by the second generation, nearly all Mexican Americans achieve English proficiency. In many domains, however, the Mexican American story doesn't fit with traditional models of assimilation. The majority of fourth generation Mexican Americans continue to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, marry other Hispanics, and think of themselves as Mexican. And while Mexican Americans make financial strides from the first to the second generation, economic progress halts at the second generation, and poverty rates remain high for later generations. Similarly, educational attainment peaks among second generation children of immigrants, but declines for the third and fourth generations. Telles and Ortiz identify institutional barriers as a major source of Mexican American disadvantage. Chronic under-funding in school systems predominately serving Mexican Americans severely restrains progress. Persistent discrimination, punitive immigration policies, and reliance on cheap Mexican labor in the southwestern states all make integration more difficult. The authors call for providing Mexican American children with the educational opportunities that European immigrants in previous generations enjoyed. The Mexican American trajectory is distinct—but so is the extent to which this group has been excluded from the American mainstream. Most immigration literature today focuses either on the immediate impact of immigration or what is happening to the children of newcomers to this country. Generations of Exclusion shows what has happened to Mexican Americans over four decades. In opening this window onto the past and linking it to recent outcomes, Telles and Ortiz provide a troubling glimpse of what other new immigrant groups may experience in the future.
This is the little book that started a revolution, making women's voices heard, in their own right and with their own integrity, for virtually the first time in social scientific theorizing about women. Its impact was immediate and continues to this day, in the academic world and beyond. Translated into sixteen languages, with more than 700,000 copies sold around the world, In a Different Voice has inspired new research, new educational initiatives, and political debate—and helped many women and men to see themselves and each other in a different light.
Living Class in Urban India
Dickey, Sara Rutgers University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HN690.M325D53 2016 | Dewey Decimal 306.3095482
Honorable mention, 2018 Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize from the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies
Many Americans still envision India as rigidly caste-bound, locked in traditions that inhibit social mobility. In reality, class mobility has long been an ideal, and today globalization is radically transforming how India’s citizens perceive class. Living Class in Urban India examines a nation in flux, bombarded with media images of middle-class consumers, while navigating the currents of late capitalism and the surges of inequality they can produce.
Anthropologist Sara Dickey puts a human face on the issue of class in India, introducing four people who live in the “second-tier” city of Madurai: an auto-rickshaw driver, a graphic designer, a teacher of high-status English, and a domestic worker. Drawing from over thirty years of fieldwork, she considers how class is determined by both subjective perceptions and objective conditions, documenting Madurai residents’ palpable day-to-day experiences of class while also tracking their long-term impacts. By analyzing the intertwined symbolic and economic importance of phenomena like wedding ceremonies, religious practices, philanthropy, and loan arrangements, Dickey’s study reveals the material consequences of local class identities. Simultaneously, this gracefully written book highlights the poignant drive for dignity in the face of moralizing class stereotypes.
Through extensive interviews, Dickey scrutinizes the idioms and commonplaces used by residents to justify class inequality and, occasionally, to subvert it. Along the way, Living Class in Urban India reveals the myriad ways that class status is interpreted and performed, embedded in everything from cell phone usage to religious worship.
History carves its imprint on human lives for generations after. When we think of the radical changes that transformed America during the twentieth century, our minds most often snap to the fifties and sixties: the Civil Rights Movement, changing gender roles, and new economic opportunities all point to a decisive turning point. But these were not the only changes that shaped our world, and in Living on the Edge, we learn that rapid social change and uncertainty also defined the lives of Americans born at the turn of the twentieth century. The changes they cultivated and witnessed affect our world as we understand it today.
Drawing from the iconic longitudinal Berkeley Guidance Study, Living on the Edge reveals the hopes, struggles, and daily lives of the 1900 generation. Most surprising is how relevant and relatable the lives and experiences of this generation are today, despite the gap of a century. From the reorganization of marriage and family roles and relationships to strategies for adapting to a dramatically changing economy, the challenges faced by this earlier generation echo our own time. Living on the Edge offers an intimate glimpse into not just the history of our country, but the feelings, dreams, and fears of a generation remarkably kindred to the present day.
The impact of long-term longitudinal studies on the landscape of twentieth century social and behavioral science cannot be overstated. The field of life course studies has grown exponentially since its inception in the 1950s, and now influences methodologies as well as expectations for all academic research. Looking at Lives offers an unprecedented "insider's view" into the intentions, methods, and findings of researchers engaged in some of the 20th century's landmark studies. In this volume, eminent American scholars—many of them pioneers in longitudinal studies—provide frank and illuminating insights into the difficulties and the unique scientific benefits of mounting studies that track people's lives over a long period of time. Looking at Lives includes studies from a range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and education, which together cover a span of more than fifty years. The contributors pay particular attention to the changing historical, cultural, and scientific context of their work, as well as the theoretical and methodological changes that have occurred in their fields over decades. What emerges is a clear indication of the often unexpected effects these studies have had on public policies and public opinion—especially as they relate to such issues as the connection between poverty and criminal behavior, or the consequences of teen-age pregnancy and drug use for inner-city youth. For example, David Weikart reveals how his long-term research on preschool intervention projects, begun in 1959, permitted him to show how surprisingly effective preschool education can be in improving the lives of disadvantaged children. In another study, John Laub and Robert Sampson build on findings from a groundbreaking study begun by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck in the 1950s to reveal the myriad ways in which juvenile delinquency can predict criminal behavior in adults. And Arland Thornton, Ronald Freedman, and William Axinn employ an intergenerational study of women and their children begun in 1962 to examine the substantial relaxation of social mores for family and individual behavior in the latter decades of the 20th century. Looking at Lives is full of striking testimony to the importance of long-term, longitudinal studies. As a unique chronicle of the origins and development of longitudinal studies in America, this collection will be an invaluable aid to 21st century investigators who seek to build on the successes and the experiences of the pioneers in life-course studies.
Low-skilled women in the 1990s took widely different paths in trying to support their children. Some held good jobs with growth potential, some cycled in and out of low-paying jobs, some worked part time, and others stayed out of the labor force entirely. Scholars have closely analyzed the economic consequences of these varied trajectories, but little research has focused on the consequences of a mother's career path on her children's development. Making It Work, edited by Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Thomas Weisner, and Edward Lowe, looks past the economic statistics to illustrate how different employment trajectories affect the social and emotional lives of poor women and their children. Making It Work examines Milwaukee's New Hope program, an experiment testing the effectiveness of an anti-poverty initiative that provided health and child care subsidies, wage supplements, and other services to full-time low-wage workers. Employing parent surveys, teacher reports, child assessment measures, ethnographic studies, and state administrative records, Making It Work provides a detailed picture of how a mother's work trajectory affects her, her family, and her children's school performance, social behavior, and expectations for the future. Rashmita Mistry and Edward D. Lowe find that increases in a mother's income were linked to higher school performance in her children. Without large financial worries, mothers gained extra confidence in their ability to parent, which translated into better test scores and higher teacher appraisals for their children. JoAnn Hsueh finds that the children of women with erratic work schedules and non-standard hours—conditions endemic to the low-skilled labor market—exhibited higher levels of anxiety and depression. Conversely, Noemi Enchautegui-de-Jesus, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Vonnie McLoyd discover that better job quality predicted lower levels of acting-out and withdrawal among children. Perhaps most surprisingly, Anna Gassman-Pines, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Sandra Nay note that as wages for these workers rose, so did their marriage rates, suggesting that those worried about family values should also be concerned with alleviating poverty in America. It is too simplistic to say that parental work is either "good" or "bad" for children. Making It Work gives a nuanced view of how job quality, flexibility, and wages are of the utmost importance for the well-being of low-income parents and children.
What choices can students in America make and what can teachers and university leaders do to improve more students' experiences and help them make the most of their time and monetary investment? Two Harvard University presidents invited Richard Light and his colleagues to explore these and other questions, resulting in ten years of interviews with 1,600 Harvard students. Filled with practical advice, Making the Most of College presents strategies for academic success.
One of the myths about families in inner-city neighborhoods is that they are characterized by poor parenting. Sociologist Frank Furstenberg and his colleagues explode this and other misconceptions about success, parenting, and socioeconomic advantage in Managing to Make It. This unique study—the first in the MacArthur Foundation Studies on Successful Adolescent Development series—focuses on how and why youth are able to overcome social disadvantages.
Based on nearly 500 interviews and case studies of families in inner-city Philadelphia, Managing to Make It lays out in detail the creative means parents use to manage risks and opportunities in their communities. More importantly, it also depicts the strategies parents develop to steer their children away from risk and toward resources that foster positive development and lead to success.
"Indispensible to anyone concerned about breaking the cycle of poverty and helplessness among at-risk adolescents, this book has a readable, graphic style easily grasped by those unfamiliar with statistical techniques." —Library Journal
Today, when fifty percent of couples who marry eventually get divorced, it's clear that we have moved from a culture in which "marriage is forever" to one in which "marriage is contingent." Author Karla Hackstaff looks at intact marriages to examine the impact of new expectations in a culture of divorce.
Marriage in a Culture of Divorce examines the shifting meanings of divorce and gender for two generations of middle-class, married couples. Hackstaff finds that new social and economic conditions both support and undermine the efforts of spouses to redefine the meaning of marriage in a culture of divorce. The definitions of marriage, divorce, and gender have changed for all, but more for the young than the old, and more for women than for men. While some spouses in both generations believe that marriage is for life and that men should dominate in marriage, the younger generation of spouses increasingly construct marriage as contingent rather than forever.
Hackstaff presents this evidence in archival case studies of couples married in the 1950s, which she then contrasts with her own case studies of people married during the 1970s, finding evidence of a significant shift in who does the emotional work of maintaining the relationship. It is primarily the woman in the '50s couples who "monitors" the marriage, whereas in the '70s couples both husband and wife support a "marital work ethic," including couples therapy in some cases.
The words and actions of the couples Hackstaff follows in depth - the '50s Stones, Dominicks, Hamptons, and McIntyres, and the '70s Turners, Clement-Leonettis, Greens, Kason-Morrises, and Nakatos -- reveal the changes and contradictory tendencies of married life in the U.S. There are traditional relationships characterized by male dominance, there are couples striving for gender equality, there are partners pulling together, and partners pulling apart.
Those debating "family values" should not forget, Hackstaff contends, that there are costs associated with marriage culture as well as divorce culture, and they should view divorce as a transitional means for defining marriage in an egalitarian direction. She convincingly illustrates her controversial position, that although divorce has its cost to society, the divorce culture empowers wives and challenges the legacy of male dominance that previously set the conditions for marriage endurance.
Since they began in 1955, the Duke Longitudinal Studies have aging have been regarded as landmark investigations, amassing invaluable data on the typical physical changes that accompany aging, typical patterns of mental health and mental illness, psychological aging, and the normal social roles, self-concepts, satisfactions, and adjustments to retirement of the aged. Comprising information on more than 750 aged and middle-aged persons, these studies have contributed enormously to our ability to distinguish normal and inevitable processes of aging from those that may accompany aging because of accident, stress, maladjustment, or disuse.
Americans like to believe that theirs is the land of opportunity, but the hard facts are that children born into poor families in the United States tend to stay poor and children born into wealthy families generally stay rich. Other countries have shown more success at lessening the effects of inequality on mobility—possibly by making public investments in education, health, and family well-being that offset the private advantages of the wealthy. What can the United States learn from these other countries about how to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds an equal chance in life? Making comparisons across ten countries, Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting brings together a team of eminent international scholars to examine why advantage and disadvantage persist across generations. The book sheds light on how the social and economic mobility of children differs within and across countries and the impact private family resources, public policies, and social institutions may have on mobility. In what ways do parents pass advantage or disadvantage on to their children? Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting is an expansive exploration of the relationship between parental socioeconomic status and background and the outcomes of their grown children. The authors also address the impact of education and parental financial assistance on mobility. Contributors Miles Corak, Lori Curtis, and Shelley Phipps look at how family economic background influences the outcomes of adult children in the United States and Canada. They find that, despite many cultural similarities between the two countries, Canada has three times the rate of intergenerational mobility as the United States—possibly because Canada makes more public investments in its labor market, health care, and family programs. Jo Blanden and her colleagues explore a number of factors affecting how advantage is transmitted between parents and children in the United States and the United Kingdom, including education, occupation, marriage, and health. They find that despite the two nations having similar rates of intergenerational mobility and social inequality, lack of educational opportunity plays a greater role in limiting U.S. mobility, while the United Kingdom’s deeply rooted social class structure makes it difficult for the disadvantaged to transcend their circumstances. Jane Waldfogel and Elizabeth Washbrook examine cognitive and behavioral school readiness across income groups and find that pre-school age children in both the United States and Britain show substantial income-related gaps in school readiness—driven in part by poorly developed parenting skills among overburdened, low-income families. The authors suggest that the most encouraging policies focus on both school and home interventions, including such measures as increases in federal funding for Head Start programs in the United States, raising pre-school staff qualifications in Britain, and parenting programs in both countries. A significant step forward in the study of intergenerational mobility, Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting demonstrates that the transmission of advantage or disadvantage from one generation to the next varies widely from country to country. This striking finding is a particular cause for concern in the United States, where the persistence of disadvantage remains stubbornly high. But, it provides a reason to hope that by better understanding mobility across the generations abroad, we can find ways to do better at home.
The culmination of one of the most famous long-term studies in American sociology, this examination of political attitudes among women who attended Bennington College in the 1930s and 1940s now spans five decades, from late adolescence to old age. Theodore Newcomb’s 1930s interviews at Bennington, where the faculty held progressive views that contrasted with those of the conservative families of the students, showed that political orientations are still quite malleable in early adulthood. The studies in 1959-60 and 1984 show the persistence of political attitudes over the adult life span: the Bennington women, raised in conservative homes, were liberalized in their college years and have remained politically involved and liberal in their views, even in their sixties and seventies.
Here the authors analyze the earlier studies and then introduce the 1984 data. Using data from National Election Studies for comparison, they show that the Bennington group is more liberal and hold its opinions more intensely than both older and younger Americans, with the exception of the generation that achieved political maturity in the 1960s. The authors point out that the majority of the Bennington women’s children are of this 1945–54 generation and suggest that this factor played an important role in the stability of the women’s political views. Within their own generation, the Bennington women also appear to hold stronger political views than other college-educated women.
Innovative in its methodology and extremely rich in its data, this work will contribute to developmental and social psychology, sociology, political science, women’s studies, and gerontology.
Work hard in school, graduate from a top college, establish a high-paying professional career, enjoy the long-lasting reward of happiness. This is the American Dream—and yet basic questions at the heart of this competitive journey remain unanswered. Does competitive success, even rarified entry into the Ivy League and the top one percent of earners in America, deliver on its promise? Does realizing the American Dream deliver a good life? In Redefining Success in America, psychologist and human development scholar Michael Kaufman develops a fundamentally new understanding of how elite undergraduate educations and careers play out in lives, and of what shapes happiness among the prizewinners in America. In so doing, he exposes the myth at the heart of the American Dream.
Returning to the legendary Harvard Student Study of undergraduates from the 1960s and interviewing participants almost fifty years later, Kaufman shows that formative experiences in family, school, and community largely shape a future adult’s worldview and well-being by late adolescence, and that fundamental change in adulthood, when it occurs, is shaped by adult family experiences, not by ever-greater competitive success. Published research on general samples shows that these patterns, and the book’s findings generally, are broadly applicable to demographically varied populations in the United States.
Leveraging biography-length clinical interviews and quantitative evidence unmatched even by earlier landmark studies of human development, Redefining Success in America redefines the conversation about the nature and origins of happiness, and about how adults develop. This longitudinal study pioneers a new paradigm in happiness research, developmental science, and personality psychology that will appeal to scholars and students in the social sciences, psychotherapy professionals, and serious readers navigating the competitive journey.
This book analyzes newly collected data on crime and social development up to age 70 for 500 men who were remanded to reform school in the 1940s. Born in Boston in the late 1920s and early 1930s, these men were the subjects of the classic study Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck (1950). Updating their lives at the close of the twentieth century, and connecting their adult experiences to childhood, this book is arguably the longest longitudinal study of age, crime, and the life course to date.
John Laub and Robert Sampson's long-term data, combined with in-depth interviews, defy the conventional wisdom that links individual traits such as poor verbal skills, limited self-control, and difficult temperament to long-term trajectories of offending. The authors reject the idea of categorizing offenders to reveal etiologies of offending--rather, they connect variability in behavior to social context. They find that men who desisted from crime were rooted in structural routines and had strong social ties to family and community.
By uniting life-history narratives with rigorous data analysis, the authors shed new light on long-term trajectories of crime and current policies of crime control.
Table of Contents:
1. Diverging Pathways of Troubled Boys 2. Persistence or Desistance? 3. Explaining the Life Course of Crime 4. Finding the Men 5. Long-Term Trajectories of Crime 6. Why Some Offenders Stop 7. Why Some Offenders Persist 8. Zigzag Criminal Careers 9. Modeling Change in Crime 10. Rethinking Lives in and out of Crime
Notes References Index
The accounts of individuals are quite riveting, and the book can be recommended strongly purely for the stories provided about diverse lives. However, the book is much, much more than that in terms of the serious challenge that the authors' findings and ideas present to some of the leading contemporary theories of both crime and development. A highly original and scholarly contribution of the highest quality. --Sir Michael Rutter, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives is an extraordinary work which shows the deep insights gained by studying the whole life course, beginning in childhood and ending in later life. With access to a rare data archive, the authors provide compelling evidence on the remarkably varied adult lives of teenage delinquents who grew up in low-income areas of Boston (born 1925-1935). The story behind these varied life paths and their consequences inspires fresh thinking about crime over the life course through models of life trajectories and vivid narratives that reveal the complexity of lives. --Glen H. Elder, Jr., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This book redraws the landscape of developmental criminology that Laub and Sampson already have done so much to define, setting new standards and benchmarks along the way. The authors both provide new evidence for earlier conclusions and challenge prevailing assumptions and assertions, thereby reshaping the criminological research agenda for years to come. --John Hagan, Northwestern University
Erdman Palmore has written a comprehensive, systematic summary of all extant findings on social patterns in normal aging learned from the landmark Duke Longitudinal Studies in aging. Palmore discusses the implications of these findings for major issues in gerontology and answers such questions as: Do elderly people reduce their social activity? Do they come to resemble one another or become more different as they age? Do major events in later life produce stress resulting in physical and/or mental illnesses? Does sexual activity maintain or reduce life satisfaction and longevity? Palmore's conclusions challenge many current ideas and prejudices widely held about people over the age of 65.
Triumphs of Experience
George E. Vaillant Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ1090.3.V35 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.310973
At a time when people are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers welcome news for old age: our lives evolve in our later years and often become more fulfilling. Among the surprising findings: people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa.
We Are All Equal is the first full-length ethnography of a Mexican secondary school available in English. Bradley A. U. Levinson observes student life at a provincial Mexican junior high, often drawing on poignant and illuminating interviews, to study how the the school’s powerful emphasis on equality, solidarity, and group unity dissuades the formation of polarized peer groups and affects students’ eventual life trajectories. Exploring how students develop a cultural “game of equality” that enables them to identify—across typical class and social boundaries—with their peers, the school, and the nation, Levinson considers such issues as the organizational and discursive resources that students draw on to maintain this culture. He also engages cultural studies, media studies, and globalization theory to examine the impact of television, music, and homelife on the students and thereby better comprehend—and problematize—the educational project of the state. Finding that an ethic of solidarity is sometimes used to condemn students defined as different or uncooperative and that little attention is paid to accommodating the varied backgrounds of the students—including their connection to indigenous, peasant, or working class identities—Levinson reveals that their “schooled identity” often collapses in the context of migration to the United States or economic crisis in Mexico. Finally, he extends his study to trace whether the cultural game is reinforced or eroded after graduation as well as its influence relative to the forces of family, traditional gender roles, church, and global youth culture. We Are All Equal will be of particular interest to educators, sociologists, Latin Americanists, and anthropologists.
Why Afterschool Matters
Nelson, Ingrid A. Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress LC205.N45 2017 | Dewey Decimal 371.82968073
Increasingly, educational researchers and policy-makers are finding that extracurricular programs make a major difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth, helping to reduce the infamous academic attainment gap between white students and their black and Latino peers. Yet studies of these programs typically focus on how they improve the average academic performance of their participants, paying little attention to individual variation.
Why Afterschool Matters takes a different approach, closely following ten Mexican American students who attended the same extracurricular program in California, then chronicling its long-term effects on their lives, from eighth grade to early adulthood. Discovering that participation in the program was life-changing for some students, yet had only a minimal impact on others, sociologist Ingrid A. Nelson investigates the factors behind these very different outcomes. Her research reveals that while afterschool initiatives are important, they are only one component in a complex network of school, family, community, and peer interactions that influence the educational achievement of disadvantaged students.
Through its detailed case studies of individual students, this book brings to life the challenges marginalized youth en route to college face when navigating the intersections of various home, school, and community spheres. Why Afterschool Matters may focus on a single program, but its findings have major implications for education policy nationwide.