What money doesn't buy: Class resources and children's participation in organized extracurricular activities

Elliot B. Weininger, Annette Lareau, Dalton Conley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research suggests that participation in organized extracurricular activities by children and adolescents can have educational and occupational payoffs. This research also establishes that participation is strongly associated with social class. However, debate has ensued-primarily among qualitative researchers-over whether the association between class and activities stems exclusively from inequalities in objective resources and constraints or whether differing cultural orientations have a role. We address this debate using a nationally representative sample of children's time diaries, merged with extensive information on their families, to model participation in, and expenditures on, organized activities. While we cannot directly observe cultural orientations, we account for a substantially wider array of resources and constraints than previous studies. We find that, above and beyond these factors, maternal education has a consistently large effect on the outcomes we study. We discuss the plausibility of a cultural interpretation of this result, as well as alternative interpretations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-503
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Forces
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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