Many studies have been done on how socioeconomic class influences childrearing. These sociological studies indicate that lower, working, & lower middle class parents who are less educated, even uneducated value blind obedience over independent & critical thinking. These parents don't believe in discussing anything with their children. They don't encourage independent thinking nor curiosity in their children. Their parenting style would be classified as authoritarian & unrelenting. They also discipline their children by harsher methods which includes corporal punishment. They are training their children to be as less educated & in lower end jobs like they occupy. In contrast, solidly middle, upper middle, & upper class parents encourage their children to think & explore their environment. They also discuss things with their children. They discipline their children by discussion & teaching. They encourage their children to think while lower, working, & lower middle class parents raise their children to follow & blindly obey the system. This explains why movers & shakers come from the solidly middle, upper middle, & upper classes- children in such homes are taught to question, think, & change what needs to be changed while lower, working, & lower middle class children are taught to be slavishly obedient automatons... Your thoughts?
After having worked with very poor and extremely rich kids, I think there is some truth to this, GM. I'd also say the difference in the way a child's thoughts are perceived based on their socioeconomic status matters as well. A poor child might have their thoughts easily dismissed as unrealistic, fanciful, or off-target and be told to put their nose back to the grindstone. Year after year of this and dreams start to fade and inspiration falters. Thus, they stay stuck in the wage-slave track.
When a rich child has an idea that's off-base, the parents hire a tutor to help the child develop the idea and work on any weaknesses in the line of thinking, maybe take a trip around the world to help the child fill in knowledge gaps. They buy them whatever software, games, books, and other tools that might help them in their pursuits. Even if the original idea was mediocre compared to the poor child's, it is treated as golden. Motivation, creativity, and inspiration are fostered. Connections are made, skills are developed, and doors are opened.
I used to be naive as to the grand divide that separates rich and poor students, and the impact it has on their lives from the beginning (and in most cases, until the end). After seeing enough cases first-hand to compare, I am forced to strive for greater equality in the world.
This so true. Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds i.e. lower, working & the lower middle class have parents that are dream killers. These parents are very insular in their life viewpoints. What isn't in their immediate environment is dismissed. They exist in the survival/security mode. In other words, lower socioeconomic echelon parents exist at the most primitive, basic levels of existence..
They don't believe in education beyond the rudimentary level. They have a struggle & poverty mentality. They are against any form of culture & intellectualism. They are what one would describe as brutish in their outlook on life.. They imbue their children with the same toxic, brutish & primitive outlook on life.. They are very narrow-minded.
In contrast, upper middle & upper class parents encourage their children to innovate & dream. They will do anything necessary to nurture such dreams. Parents who are upper middle & upper class expose their children to culture & other intellectual pursuits. Let us go deeper----upper middle & upper class parents are usually highly educated-some have very advanced educations. People who are highly educated are more universalistic in outlook. Parents in the lower socioeconomic echelons have only basic, rudimentary education if that. This factor makes them very primitive, insular, & extremely narrow-minded. This makes them suspicious of any form of activity & aspirations beyond survival & security. They live a primitive existence & want their children to do the same. You are smart, Eastward. I have seen this firsthand also. Upper middle & upper class parents train their children to be movers & shakers while lower, working, & lower middle class parents train their children to be automaton, unthinking slaves.
Please even lower class people who advance into the solidly middle & upper middle class have this same primitive outlook on life. Such parents gear their children into areas that are practical. They want their children to conform, not think outside the box. Thank you for your response, it is appreciated. The negative rearing of poor i.e. lower, working, & lower middle class children by their narrow, insular parents is the reason why they don't succeed educationally nor socioeconomically. Let's face it- children born into lower, working, & lower middle class homes are doomed, even damned. There is no hope for them except a meager existence nothing more......
I would also add that upper middle & upper class parents cherish their children & view them as unique individuals while lower, working, & lower middle class parents view their children as tolerable nuisances & obligations to be minimally cared for until they reach 18 & thankfully(to these parents) out of the house for good. Upper middle & upper class parents help their children until they are fully independent educationally & socioeconomically while lower, working, & lower middle class parents tolerate their children until they are 18 & kick them out of the house...…
The majority of the lower socioeconomic children that I knew during elementary & high school HATED their parents. One girl indicated that she never listened to her parents because they were stupid. Most poor children hate their parents because they know that their parents don't provide for them nor give them guidance. Poor parents are just parents in the physical sense- they breed & give birth but little else. Children see this & act accordingly. Children aren't stupid.....
Happy to have the discussion, GM. Thanks for posting the topic. Unfortunately, I do agree that many poor and low income parents can be dream-killers. They only know the struggle and often have learned harsh lessons when they have strayed-off the path of wage slavery. Even great ideas won't often be well-received or lead to sustenance without the resources and connections necessary to bring them to fruition. Even in the dream-killing, they are trying to spare their own children the pain of disappointments (as they have experienced). Even if the children do stand a chance, they are certainly not starting off with the best schools, best teachers, or best materials and tools.
This article is interesting as it goes into the different types of stress rich and poor people experience, and the consequences of the basic survival type of "bad" stress on the poor:
https://www.brookings.edu/research/the- … -the-poor/
Stress has also been shown to affect cognition and hamper success accordingly.
It is certainly a rich person's world and wealthy children have the luxury of thinking outside-the-box with full support and encouragement of their parents, and other by extension and in accordance with the family's financials. This can be detrimental to society despite successes, as connected and overconfident people gain positions of power in society. They are accustomed to every thought and whim being treated as genius. For those under their rule, it can be dark comedy to see how untrue this is.
Yes, this is true. I have said this many times that poor children i.e. lower, working, & lower middle class children have a hell's chance of success, especially since the late 1970s. Nowadays, people who are highly successful come from AT THE MINIMUM a solidly middle class background. There is NO WAY IN HELL that children born into lower, working, & lower middle class backgrounds will be successful educationally nor socioeconomically no matter HOW SMART they are. Being smart today doesn't cut it but being born into the right socioeconomic background does.
That's exactly it. Of course it's always been true to some extent, but the 70's in the US marked a sharp turn off-course in terms of pursuing economic equality (as productivity kept rising and wages began to stagnate...not to mention rampant outsourcing). A friend tells me the three decades prior are referred to as "the glorious 30 years" in French, too.
I'm afraid that when the dust clears from the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial relief will be in all the wrong places, bringing inequality to dangerous levels.
I'm just going to leave at least something beyond opinion and imagination here:
Americans overestimate social class mobility
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 3115000062
I read it. You have aptly confirmed that I have believed about socioeconomic class mobility in America. Nothing new. People, get with the program here(rolling eyes). Let's wake up now!!!! To reiterated, socioeconomic class has become more rigid than ever in the latter 20th & early 21st century. Those who are lucky to be born upper middle & upper class have the brightest futures while who are cursed to be born in the lower, working, & lower middle class will have the BLEAKEST futures. Need I say anything more...….In other words, the former will have lives analogous to Paradiso while the latter will have lives analogous to the Inferno(Dante's Divine Comedy-my favorite book)……...
That opinion/study is from a half century ago, but I agree to much of what it implies.
Parenting... it proves my point, it doesn't counter it.
If "lower middle class parents raise their children to follow & blindly obey the system" then their kids are more likelt to do so.
"upper middle, & upper class parents encourage their children to think & explore their environment. They also discuss things with their children."
If the rich parents treat their kids like extra luggage, something that is a burden for them to deal with... Parenting.
If the welfare couple loves their kids, pays attention to how well they do in school and encourages them to be lawyers or doctors or scientists... Parenting.
Now if we were to evaluate the parents, what made them rich or poor, what made them successful or a wretch. The 16 year old living with her mom who has a child, vs. the dentist who waits till he is 30 and married to have his first child.
Sure, such situations have major impact on the chances for the child.
But that ALSO comes down to Parenting... why did the 16 year old have that child? Why did that dentist wait until he was 30 and financially secure and married to have his child?
Its far more complex, and its far more than what economic sphere you come from. But the number one factor is parenting... and good and bad parenting can be found in all economic classes.
I agree that parenting is a factor and especially if we are speaking in terms of parents' behavior as shaped by their economic status and position in society. I wouldn't remove that factor from their economic position. Of course there are outliers in almost any observable population, but parenting and future success are shaped by class.
To refer to a more recent study, findings show that "social mobility is far from the norm" and that "you are significantly more likely to hold a high-status (which usually means higher-paying) job if your parents held similarly prestigious positions".
https://psmag.com/economics/new-researc … ility-myth
I worked in a Fortune 500 company and watched as the kids with connections strolled in, slept through work, went to interviews with black eyes from bar fights the night before, and so on (of course they climbed the corporate ladder with ease). Those without connections worked harder, produced more, and got much less appreciation.
I also worked for a family business where the manager (son) was such a screw-up and scam artist that the owner/CEO (father) wanted to fire him. Mom said no though, so he kept his job.
The article goes on to explain that misconceptions about social mobility in America are rooted in the post WWII economic boom and are no longer reflective of reality in the United States.
America needs to come to grips with how much things have structurally changed, especially for the poor, working, and middle class since then. It appears COVID-19 relief, at least thus far, will turn out to be another major coddling of the ruling elite and a kick in the teeth for the average citizen (parent and child alike).
There is a lot that is right in what you present.
The truth is that only a small percentage of people will rise to the top... your example of "a family business where the manager (son) was such a screw-up and scam artist that the owner/CEO (father) wanted to fire him" when the father dies, the business will fail, the son will eventually lose everything, and the next generation will become newly acquainted to lower class living.
It is very hard to pass on through multiple generations the wisdom to be successful as well as pass on the drive and intelligence which has more to do with genetics and good fortune and cannot be bought or taught.
What makes Michael Jordan be as great as he was?
What makes Elon Musk as smart as he is?
Some people are made of stronger stuff than others. That's just they way it is.
Again, I'd agree with the impact a parent has on a child, especially in cases of abuse (verbal, physical, and sexual). I have a friend that was describing how difficult it was to mentally reconcile the pleasure associated with orgasm while experiencing the pain of being raped by her father. I can't even begin to imagine the weight of carrying something like that through life without it having an impact. We all have our number on the pain scale to carry through life, but some like my friend suffer the extremes.
There are good and bad parents, most are heavily rooted in their own experience. Some can break cycles of bad behavior and even abuse, but even some that care to do not succeed. As many of them have demons I am fortunate enough not to understand, I try to steer clear of judging anyone I believe is trying.
There are, as you mention the Obamas and Oprahs of the world, that have come from modest means and made it to the top of their respective paths. I think it's great for people to have examples like this to strive for, but yes, becoming a local business owner is much more likely than becoming POTUS or the head of a media empire.
And it is probably healthy that in a normal environment (crises and pandemics aside), small businesses rise and fall according to the value of the products/services they provide and how they treat customers, etc. If a business is scamming people, the community is likely better off without it.
That's where I get into my main concern, that the government is becoming inexorably intertwined with big businesses that have failed. They abuse the public via bailouts without reasonable strings attached. In turn, the money granted to them via corporate socialism is used to lobby for legislation that benefits the mega-corporation, bank etc. over the citizens. Wash, rinse, repeat and we end up where we are in 2020. If this continues, social mobility will eventually be nullified.
It is difficult to watch children struggle in families that don't have the means to support them. For those that started in that position and didn't end up there by being dealt a bad hand, education is the best hope we have. Did you ever see the movie Idiocracy? I'm reminded of the dark humor in the opening scene, depicting educated vs. uneducated on having children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP2tUW0HDHA
Michael Jordan did become great through great perseverance and practice.
Musk is a smart guy, no matter what resources he may have begun with or without.
Some people are naturally smarter, stronger, more charismatic, and some are just lucky. Some have their position in life handed to them on a silver platter, and others fight for it. There are lots of variables that lead to success and the opposite can also be true.
While we can include better content for parenting and life skills in schools, that aspect is mostly out of a community or country's hands. What we can address is the sickness in the system that exploits citizens and facilitates as other organizations treat them as prey.
When I lived in California, I had a business and hired people through a welfare to work program. Some of the people from this program were angry they had to do work and felt they were being oppressed for working for a paycheck.
Then there were others, individuals who leaned how to make as much money as they wanted by working for it and not doing anything illegal. These were impressive people. It was like a light bulb went off in their brain when they realized the amount of money they can make without hiding it from the authorities.
I agree with you. I feel badly that there are some very intelligent individuals born into bad situations who have their minds poisoned by their family and family's history.
It's not always easy to reach these people and many just plain give up out of frustration. I wish there was a way to change this.
People from the lower socioeconomic echelons(lower/working/lower middle class) feel that they are insignificant & fulfill that prophecy. They feel powerless & pass on that negative indoctrination to succeeding generations. With socioeconomic class demarcations becoming more rigid, there is little or no hope that children born in these echelons will ever succeed educationally nor socioeconomically. They will be relegated to slave jobs, be tracked into our prison system, or be used for combat fodder in wars. Socioeconomic class more than ever in the 21st century will determine what type of life one will have. If one is born into the right socioeconomic classes, his/her educational & socioeconomic future will be very bright indeed. If one is unlucky enough to be born into the wrong socioeconomic classes, his/her educational & socioeconomic future will be quite bleak...…..
I read through all the comments in this thread (a rarity for me, I usually cherry pick).
At one point you guys zeroed in on the reality of the biggest reason why kids are successful, or not, but then drifted from it back into the simple-minded notions of class and privilege being the reasons for it.
Parenting...parenting has 51% to do with it. The Child's individual traits and personality is the other 49%.
I know of parents that collected welfare their whole lives, sat around and smoked (and sold) pot on top of it, and their kids went on to become Doctors. Because they always loved their kids, they were always there for them, they always insisted they do their homework and do good in school. etc. etc.
I know kids whose parents were worth millions, back when being worth millions was more rare. The kids became losers, drug addicts, social nuisances, were constantly in and out of jail. Because their parents never really gave a crap about them. They were all about their careers, their social status, their vacation trips... the kids were tolerated, when young, and inconvenient as they got older.
Its not easy being a good parent, and its even harder if you didn't see good parenting yourself when you were a child. Its compounded now by our American society being so fractured, our school systems being so repressive and authoritative, and so many distractions being available to both the adults and children.
Yes the very rich have all the tools to be a success, and make it easier for their kids. But for the barely-rich to the poorest of poor, it is all about the parenting and not at all about the paychecks.
Those couple's on welfare, don't have to spend 60 hours every week working, going back and forth to work, dealing with the stress of work.
I ran state funded programs that were specifically for those who qualified for it economically, in other words they qualified for other government benefits. The majority of homes I went into were better furnished than my own, better appliances, bigger TVs, and we were there providing state of the art furnaces, hot water heaters, insulation and windows free from the State.
Many people in America live as well or better than the "Middle Class" or the "Working Class" on government support & welfare.
I remember during the Cuban migrant crisis back in 1996, I was deployed to deal with that fiasco. I made about $14,000 a year as a spec 4. When the Clinton Administration let them into the US they were granted $33,000 a year per adult for 7 years from the Immigration Welfare that was set up for them, and help to get housing.
Its a lot harder to be a soldier in the army and constantly on deployment, than it is to be sitting at home with a fixed income coming in that you don't have to work for, to be a good parent.
Being a good parent isn't easy... but its all about the parents, and little to do with the income/class.
Simple-minded notions of class? Get over yourself Ken. You blurt out numbers with no basis in reality and try to put them forth as facts because of your feelings about your own experiences. Doesn't get more simple minded than that. Try doing some research and not typing while admiring yourself in the mirror.
Sounds like you might have one of those fancy mirrors yourself.
Read the rest of the thread and you'll see who starts off thinking they are an Internet tough guy.
It's really all opinion. So whenever any of us start insulting one another we've got the same problem.
But, remember that's just an opinion.
You know where I can get me one of those fancy mirrors? Or maybe I've already got one. You be the judge.
"At one point you guys zeroed in on the reality of the biggest reason why kids are successful, or not, but then drifted from it back into the simple-minded notions of class and privilege being the reasons for it.
Parenting...parenting has 51% to do with it. The Child's individual traits and personality is the other 49%."
This is definitely opinion (prefaced with insult and followed up with a whole lot more nastiness).
I get the point about the mirror and will own jabbing back, but I see enough there that I can't just let pass without calling it out.
I gotcha. But the threads started by this OP invariably (in my mind) appear to be shallow attempts to degrade the poor and insult any who don't agree with the OP's views so, honestly, I haven't read through the thread but I bet (from previous threads used to judge) this isn't off base for some, or at least one, poster.
You usually have intelligent input so I would be surprised if such a comment would have been directed at you.
I appreciate the feedback and can even use a call out myself to keep things on the level, LtL. Unfortunately, I see so many attempts to degrade the poor on the forums that (regardless of who an insult might be directed at) I take upon myself to step in. Taking my own latitude of opinion, classism is among my list of isms that I don't take lightly.
It also seems that certain contributors confuse empathy and compassion with weakness and feel the need to use derogatory language to try and attack it before it spreads (*your favorite deity, idol, or otherwise here* forbid).
The poor aren't being degraded. People are just telling the truth about the poor. The poor in America need tough love. People are poor in America because of unintelligent choices. The poor in America WANT to be that way. They don't want to improve themselves educationally nor socioeconomically. In fact, the poor disdain those who are better off educationally & socioeconomically. The poor aren't being degraded- they are doing a GREAT job of DEGRADING themselves.
I, for one, have sympathy for the poor who have fallen temporarily on hard times such as being laid off, fired, & had unforeseeable circumstances beyond their control, those who are elderly, physically, mentally, emotionally, & psychologically challenged-these people should be helped. However for able-bodied poor who can & won't improve themselves- I, for one, have neither empathy nor sympathy-such people are willfully poor & view poverty as a generational lifestyle. Yes, the poor don't care about their children & imbue their negative, narrow philosophy to their children so their children can continue generational poverty.. I don't have rose-colored glasses- I see REALITY; however, there are THOSE who refuse to use inductive & deductive logic...
Of course there are some people that don't really care much to try and climb the economic ladder but that's no different in any country. The US poor don't have it as bad as some places, and not as good as in others. There is a long list of countries that provide basic benefits to citizens while the U.S. does not. So, I'd agree that as with most things, there is a scale of motivation.
That being said, we are on the fast-track to neo-feudalism and each the system is allowed to go on in it's grotesquely corrupt form, social mobility becomes even more of a fantasy.
We haven't drawn the line as the government has transformed itself (granted with our complacency) into a tool of extraction of wealth from working people to provide corporate socialism for the wealthy. This is exacerbated by the dystopian militarized police force and abomination of for-profit mass incarceration. Again, as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic, the politicians are lining the pockets of the powers that be while tossing just enough bread crumbs at the pseudo-enslaved public to keep them distracted. Some even argue on behalf of their ruling class masters in a bizarre feat that surpasses Stockholm Syndrome and begins to look towards embracing darker paths in history. We came out of 9-11 with the surveillance state, out of the financial crisis with the gig economy, and we haven't even begun to see what will be left in the ashes after the coronavirus.
We have reached an age of propaganda so finely tuned, that it begins to hack the very essence of what makes one human. The systematic problems far outweigh any problems of a citizen getting a few extra bucks in food benefits yet people ignore corporate socialism and rant about issues that are minutia in comparison.
It's reasonable and rational to see varying degrees of motivation and energy levels among fellow humans. It's not reasonable or logical to ignore larger issues and attack our own people with classist bigotry.
Thank you, GM. It's also fascinating to watch the dynamics of how people in Asia deal with varying motivation levels and comparing that with what I'm used to in the U.S. The differences in a collective society vs. rugged individualism are stark, each with unique pros and cons.
Very astute observations.
If you want to know where we are headed, just research China's Social Credit System (I wrote an article about it a year back I believe... one of a few articles I wrote on China and America's future).
Corporate Globalism... a world run by the IMF, WTO, WB, UN. Which will take its direction from the CCP.
We are in the final days of American exceptionalism and Western World dominance. It might be a year, or ten years, but the change is near.
The poor raise their children to be unthinking slaves. The poor i.e. lower, working, & lower middle class teach their children strict obedience. They don't believe in discussing things w/their children. Don't you read books on socioeconomic class ????? I studied socioeconomic class extensively in college. I majored in Sociology. Intelligent people knew that socioeconomic class as well as educational levels determine how children are raised!!!! Good God woman...…..I know that I am speaking Yakut to you but one day I will get through to you.
I doubt I will ever agree with anyone who approaches issues with a simple minded belief such as the one you push.
If what you are pushing is the result of a degree in sociology my advice to you is sue for a refund.
It isn't a simplistic belief but a well-documented fact. If you have read studies on socioeconomic classes in its correlation to parenting instead of looking at the boob tube, you will know that parents in the lower socioeconomic echelons raise their children FAR DIFFERENTLY than parents in the upper socioeconomic echelons. I know that reading & studying extensively isn't your forte, "Live to Learn"...…
Any moderately intelligent person knows this. Poor parents stress strict obedience. They don't believe in engaging in any type of discussion w/their children. They are adherents of using harsher discipline on their children which include corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is rife in lower socioeconomic households as a method of correcting & disciplining children. Poor parents are perfunctory parents....
Eastward, it is easier to do a dissertation on the origins of Ugric languages than to have a logical discourse with LTL. Logic isn't LTL's forte. In fact, logic is beyond her scope.
LOL. If you've had a logical discussion with anyone on these forums, please point it out. All I've read of your comments involve insults to those who disagree with you and what appears to be a deep seated hatred of those less fortunate and an over eagerness for the celebration of greed.
"Being a good parent isn't easy... but its all about the parents, and little to do with the income/class."
This is the truth as I see it also. I don't often agree with Ken but his pot-selling parents raising a doctor analogy (and things akin to it) are something I've certainly seen over the years. I don't know if there is a way to quantify this, but I know there is some truth to it.
Thank you, I am not perfect by any means, but I have had considerable opportunity to see things in the world.
I have seen kids picking through trash to find something to eat.
I have seen men pick up kids to use as shields against bullets.
I realize that true poverty is devastating to children.
But in America a child that is not born with handicaps, that has good parenting, is going to become a successful capable adult most of the time,
Perspective can mean a lot, and experience can bring perspective. While I haven't traveled the world, or seen the likes of kids as shields (tough one there for sure), I've been through it and back as they say. And, I'm one of the few I know that's spent time as a college teacher, a soldier, a prisoner, and a finance company manager. I've been surprised, more than once, at the background of a fellow teacher or inmate. Prisoners with street prostitutes for moms, and prisoners with college deans for dads. This is why I know that something more than economics is at play when it comes to a kid being relatively happy and well-adjusted as they grow up.
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