Events Calendar

Micro-Foundations of Upper-Middle-Class Parenting

Friday, March 26, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Virtual meeting on Zoom
Micro-Foundations of Upper-Middle-Class Parenting

From Contest Mobility to… Predictable Stability? The Micro-Foundations of Upper-Middle-Class Parenting

Dr. Janice Aurini
University of Waterloo

March 26, 2021
11 am - 12 pm

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Drawing on interviews with upper-middle-class parents in Boston, Massachusetts, this presentation examines how “predictable stability” informs their assessment of downward mobility risks for their children. In contrast to anxiety and a ‘fear of falling,’ multigenerational achievement within contest mobility systems allows these parents to assume that their children will realize education and career success and a comfortable standard of living. At the same time, these expressions of ease do not capture how they actively fortify their children’s social class position through a variety of investments and strategies. This analysis extends contemporary theories of parenting and social stratification by illustrating variation among upper-middle-class dispositions and the micro-foundations that underlie quantitative research on the “stickiness” of intergenerational status mobility and the “glass floor” that protects upper-middle-class children from experiencing downward mobility.

Janice D. Aurini is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo. She completed her Ph.D. at McMaster University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Her research examines education policy, education inequality, private education, and parenting. Her recent articles can be found in Sociology of Education, Canadian Public Policy, Qualitative Research, and the European Journal of Higher Education.

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Department of Sociology
Department of Sociology
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