Not-So-Spontaneous Socialization Outcomes of Spontaneous Family Structures
18 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2022 Last revised: 28 Jul 2022
Date Written: May 25, 2022
What enabled U.S. public schools to expand their educational mission to include the role of socializing children? Parents are increasingly relying on public schools to socialize their children. This paper argues that this results from the historical transformation of the structure of U.S. families from planned internal arrangements to spontaneous orders. By increasingly relying on public schools, parents unintentionally diminished their ability to pass down customs and morals. The state acquired the socialization role that parents forfeited through the administration of public schools, opening the door to public indoctrination and the influence of special interest groups. We provide two recent examples, critical race theory and COVID-19, demonstrating the knowledge and incentive problems that emerge from relying on public education to fulfill the family’s socializing role. The growth of homeschooling can, at least in part, be attributed to attempts to restore the family’s traditional role in socialization.
Keywords: children, education, family, schools, socialization
JEL Classification: I21, I25, P11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation