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Actually, doesn't the data show that American parents (don't know about the French) spend more time with their kids than in previous generations? Certainly true in my case, and that of my husband, and many EB families I know...


I think you are right. Still, there's something about the self-expression and self-improvement culture hinted at by Proust which feels very Berkeley, doesn't it?


Tom, I'm curious to know the answer if you pose this question to yourself: Do you facilitate a Proust reading group to satisfy your genuine interest in French literature, or are you partly driven to compete with Berkeley parents in cheese-making classes, etc.?

Tom C

Probably both? Though my point was not really about the status-seeking motives of Berkeley parents (I believe we all unconsciously have these operating on us unfortunately, however much we deny it). I was more thinking of how these motives (status, but also intellectual interests, pleasures, and self-expression) can even trump their interest in time with their children. On that I think there are very few things that can pull me away! But then I'm a sap.

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