24th & 25th May 2022

Socializing inequality. A workshop with Annette Lareau.


For a science that has virtually trademarked the study of social inequality and leans heavily on the premise that a sizeable portion of human behavior is ‘learned’, ‘nurtured’ or otherwise ‘socialized’, sociology continues to display a remarkable disinterest into the link between inequality and early childhood. Despite paying theoretical lip-service to the importance of ‘primary socialization’ in structuring patterns of social inequality, sociological studies on how children actually come to experience and negotiate these patterns remain few and far between.

This seminar is devoted to gaining a better understanding of the relationship between class inequality and early childhood. It welcomes contributions that focus on…

  • …the various ways in which class inequality affects children, from their social relationships and educational experiences to their physical and cognitive development and their mental well-being.
  • …the ways in which class inequality intersects with other principles of social division, like gender and ethnicity, in shaping the experience of early childhood
  • …how and when children themselves come to define and understand inequality and how they learn to navigate the unequal structure of the social world.
  • …the particular methodological challenges posed by doing research with young children.

Those who are interested in participating are kindly asked to send a title and abstract (max. 250 words) of their contribution to socineq2022@eucci.eu before June 1st 2021.

Since the proceedings of this seminar will form the basis of a special issue or an edited volume, we especially welcome original contributions and ‘work-in-progress’ that has not been published elsewhere. Apart from a small fee to cover catering during the event, participation is free, but the total number of participants will be limited.



Annette Lareau is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work centers on the sociology of family relationships and how these are affected by the dynamics of class and racial inequality. Her research has addressed these dynamics in the area of childrearing, family-school relations and the politics of inheritance. She is the author of the award-winning study Unequal Childhoods: Race, Class and Family Life (2003) and Listening to People: A Practical Guide to Interviews, Participant-Observation, Data Analysis, and Writing It All Up (forthcoming, University of Chicago Press).