How much do we really need to know about our children’s every-day lives? Do we need to monitor what they’re choosing at the school cafeteria? Middlebury Professor of Sociology Peggy Nelson found herself pondering these questions after noticing the emergence of technical gadgetry designed to help parents with surveillance of their kids.
In her new book, Parenting Out of Control, Nelson looks into the motivations behind what’s now a familiar phenomenon — helicopter parents, hovercrafts, parents from hell — lots of names, but most of whom are trying their best to be good parents in anxious times. Among many notable discoveries, Nelson found a clear divide along class lines in terms of the acceptability of technology for keeping tabs on kids and the very nature of the anxieties parents feel for their children.
Nelson’s book has gotten plenty of notice in the press. She was recently interviewed for a Q & A that ran in USA Today. Click here for more video clips of Peggy Nelson discussing her book and research.