By A. Kusserow
What are tough and delicate individualisms? during this targeted ethnography of 3 groups in ny and Queens, Kusserow interviews mom and dad and academics (from prosperous to these on welfare) at the varieties of difficult and delicate individualisms they inspire of their childrens and scholars. American Individualisms explores the $64000 factor of sophistication changes within the socialization of individualism in the US. It provides American individualism now not as one unmarried homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as usually claimed to be, yet as variable, class-differentiated types of individualism instilled in childrens by way of their mom and dad and preschool academics in new york and Queens. via supplying wealthy descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in groups with greatly assorted visions of the long run, Kusserow brings social inequality again into formerly bland and popular discussions of yank individualism.
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Additional resources for American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods (Culture, Mind and Society)
In these interviews I had to work very hard at not telling them verbally or nonverbally what I wanted, despite their obvious desire to pass or please. Often I would make myself just sit with the awkward silence in the hope that the mother would continue without my prompting. These were the hardest interviews I had, and I often left feeling I had not been able to loosen the tightness and defensiveness. Nowhere was I more struck by the way habitus is embodied than with the mothers of Queenston. These same mothers often seemed pressed for time, harried, overtired, and at the end of their ropes.
The way in which the working class have digested and used individualism in their local worlds is rarely addressed. Hence, one main problem in works on social class is that differences between upper and working classes are often painted in blackand-white terms, in a simplistic dichotomy, with an obedient, conformist working class on the one hand versus an independent, self-directed middle and upper class on the other. To label the lower class as solely conforming/ sociocentric (or, as Kohn  does, as obedient) and the upper class as individualistic/self-directed is simplistic and recreates the East/West bipolar homogeneity we are trying to move beyond.
Its power lies precisely in its ambiguity and plasticity, in the ways different groups can espouse and use its different elements and meanings to ﬁt their local context. David Potter (1973:143), writing of American individualism in the twentieth century, noted that many theorists falsely assume that all of the different concepts we place under individualism—such as self-reliance and nonconformity—necessarily go together. He notes differences between an individualism of personal self-reliance, hardihood, and stamina vs.
American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods (Culture, Mind and Society) by A. Kusserow