Parenting Out of Control
Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times
“Placing this phenomenon [hovercraft parenting] within a sociological context, Nelson explores the effects of this approach on both the children and the parents and why it is so persistently practiced by the professional middle class. Sociologists and academics will find much to glean here. The appendixes, outlining the technological choices of various populations, are both insightful and alarming.”
—Library Journal, Academic Newswire
“Nelson tries to trace what’s behind the [parenting out of control] phenomenon, looking at it from a sociological view, not a psychological one. She points at a confluence of socioeconomic factors including a reaction to sex and violence in the media, perceived danger from crime, and the feeling that today’s children must work harder to prepare for going out on their own.”
—Gordon Dritschilo, Rutland Herald
- "Right from the first pages, and on through the book as a whole, she offers a highly engaging analysis that elegantly situates rich and intriguing examples in a broader social context, allowing us to understand those examples in new ways. The work is lively, carefully argued, and compelling in its qualititative data analysis as well as its links to multiple scholarly literatures."
—Emily W. Kane, American Journal of Sociology
“Nelson goes beyond simplistic criticisms of ‘helicopter parents’ to illuminate the complex motivations, personal histories, and practical dilemmas that affect the parenting choices of educated professionals in our changing world. Using rich interview data, she shows that their new parenting styles reflect and in turn exacerbate the growing social isolation of these mothers and fathers and even put their marriages at risk. Persuasively argued and highly readable.”
—Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
“In Parenting Out of Control, sociologist Margaret K. Nelson bemoans the social isolation of today’s families and describes the disservice overanxious parents ultimately do. . . . While parents insist they want their offspring to be free thinkers, their tactics result in young adults still tethered to the home.”
The perfect antidote to all those hyperbolic articles about overbearing, overprotective moms who hover, helicopter, and micromanage, grounded as it is in actual social-science research, nuanced analysis, and an eagerness to look beyond cliches... The result is a fascinating and sometimes surprising portrait of modern parenting.”
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