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The Problem of Individualism in Family-School Policies

Annette Lareau and Wesley Shumar
Sociology of Education
Vol. 69, Extra Issue: Special Issue on Sociology and Educational Policy: Bringing Scholarship and Practice Together (1996), pp. 24-39
DOI: 10.2307/3108454
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3108454
Page Count: 16
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The Problem of Individualism in Family-School Policies
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Abstract

Although the authors recognize that family-school policies have garnered considerable enthusiasm and support, they have serious reservations about these policies. In this article, they criticize the literature for its failure to come to grips with observable differences in parents' and guardians' educational skills, occupational and economic flexibility, social networks, and positions of power that they bring to home-school encounters. They illustrate their concerns with examples from a study that used ethnographic methods to explore the family-school relationships of White and African American children in third and fourth grade and conclude by discussing the implications for educational policy.

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