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Worlds Apart: Relationships between Families and Schools


reviewed by Marvin Lazerson & Jane Gaskell 1980

coverTitle: Worlds Apart: Relationships between Families and Schools
Author(s): Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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Worlds Apart is about struggles over territoriality between two institutions— families and schools. It illuminates the overlaps, the bridges, the boundaries, and the separations that give rise to "creative conflict and negative dissonance" (p. 40) in school-family relationships. It moves beyond the stereotypes built into most social science literature and public understanding on the subject, attempting to develop "multiple visions" of the relationships by drawing on such diverse sources as cultural images, historical research, structural analysis, and psychoanalytic interpretations. Worlds Apart deals with contradictions and ambiguities, and instead of wishing or arguing them away, Lightfoot uses them to open up new ways of understanding old problems. She concludes that schools and families need to clarify their boundaries and differences but at the same time build more bridges. The central irony of Worlds Apart is that parents and teachers, who ought to be natural allies working for the best interest of the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 81 Number 3, 1980, p. 395-399
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1054, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 11:07:17 PM

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About the Author
  • Marvin Lazerson
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Marvin Lazerson is professor of education at the University of British Columbia. He is presently completing a book with W. Norton Grubb on the relationship of the state to families and children in postwar America.
  • Jane Gaskell
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver
    Jane Gaskell is assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She is working in the area of women's studies and education for work.
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