“Building the Brand of You”, at 7

Today’s read and class and child rearing:  upper middle class children, parents who “outsource” teaching them manners to expensive teachers and restaurant staff, and those teachers who understand that you have to appeal to the children’s self-interest (“building the brand of you”) to entice them to behave in public.

The reporter and the etiquette teachers all attribute the otherwise bad public behavior of these children to chaotic times at home, and the problem is then solved by spending money on classes and family nights in expensive restaurants.

And teachers can remain so judgmental of the home lives of poor and working-class children whose parents don’t have the money to “outsource” their role with their children.



2 thoughts on ““Building the Brand of You”, at 7

  1. springbyker January 1, 2013 / 8:49 am

    I suppose many wealthy people have never enjoyed raising their own children, and the job has been “outsourced” for centuries. But it does bother me that so many parents in the middle class can’t be bothered to teach their children manners. If you have kids, you’re responsible for teaching them how to care about others, and that’s what having manners is really about.

    Many poor and working-class parents don’t teach their kids certain things, because no one in the family has the knowledge and access to resources that the middle-class and wealthy have — whether it’s how to set a table or how get into college. I know about this first-hand.

  2. Will Barratt January 2, 2013 / 6:24 am

    I wonder if manners classes are a draw because of the insecurity of the parents about their own grasp of high prestige culture cultural capital. On the third hand, these are the rituals that expand the social class divide.

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