Family Life in the USA

Elinor Ochs’ latest research on child-rearing practices among middle class US families receives wide spread media attention:

Anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles have studied family life as far away as Samoa and the Peruvian Amazon region, but for the last decade they have focused on a society closer to home: the American middle class.

Why do American children depend on their parents to do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves? How do U.S. working parents’ views of “family time” affect their stress levels? These are just two of the questions that researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families, or CELF, are trying to answer in their work.

By studying families at home—or, as the scientists say, “in vivo”—rather than in a lab, they hope to better grasp how families with two working parents balance child care, household duties and career, and how this balance affects their health and well-being.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal:

A Field Guide to the Middle-Class U.S. Family
By SHIRLEY S. WANG, March 13th

Also, read responses to the original article at The Washington Post and Slate Magazine

Janice D’Arcy - Are we asking enough of our kids? Anthropologists don’t think so

Libby Copeland  - The American Middle Class: Guilty Parents and Lazy Kids

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