From the Mouths of Babes: Exploring Families' Career Socialization of Young Children in China, Lebanon, Belgium, and the United

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Families' communication with young children about work and careers has not been the focus of much systematic investigation. We contribute to family communication scholarship both by providing an overview of career socialization research involving children, and by presenting findings from a multinational (China, Lebanon, Belgium, and the United States) investigation of 800 children's discursive, cultural, and material socialization. Using a grounded interpretive approach and the theoretical lenses of intersectionalities and socialization messages, we found that children engaged in four communicative processes that intersected across cultural differences: (a) acting as designers of their own careers; (b) extracting cues to make sense of careers; (c) articulating meaningfulness based on local contexts, and (d) participating in families' concerted cultivation and/or natural growth practices.

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Journal of Family Communication, v. 11, issue 2, p. 148-164