“Concerted Cultivation”: Pluralizing Parent Care among Families in Central Sofia Cover Image
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„Съгласувано“ детство: плурализиране на родителските грижи при семейства от центъра на София
“Concerted Cultivation”: Pluralizing Parent Care among Families in Central Sofia

Author(s): Nevena Dimova
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Gender Studies, Sociology, Social development, Family and social welfare, Demography and human biology
Published by: Институт за изследвания на обществата и знанието при БАН
Keywords: parenting practices; childhood; central Sofia; “concerted cultivation”

Summary/Abstract: In this article I look at the specifics of an ever more popular model for raising children in central Sofia. In this model the everyday life of the family focuses on the extracurricular activities of the children and the engagement of the parents with their organization and realization. In the Sofia version of “concerted cultivation” (Lareau, 2011) children attend at least two after class activities which burdens them with additional work, while their parents face substantial time and financial engagements. In comparison to practices of “concerted cultivation” in other cultural contexts where extracurricular classes are seen as enrichment activities, institutionalized forms of play and children’s socialization, my contention is that among the studied families in central Sofia the engagement of children with multiple educational after school classes can be seen as a major strategy for increasing their social capital and gaining advantage in uncertain times. Parents invest in their children’s academic development to compensate for insecurities of the present and worries about the future. The instability of their own economic position, as well as their personal experiences and will to provide better alternatives for their children are the main factors which contribute to the creation of a new image of childhood by these parents – that of a work environment and preparation stage for successful future.

  • Issue Year: 51/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 300-325
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Bulgarian