The most original findings of Margaret Nelson's Parenting Out of Control are class differences in how parents think about technology to connect with, control, and monitor their children.
Professional-class parents strongly embrace connection technology - baby monitors when the kids are little, cell phones when they are bigger. On the other hand, these parents do not want V-chips and software filters that control children directly, and strongly reject tracking devices for cars and computers that secretly spy on kids. Professional parents, as we noted yesterday, most value their close relations with their children. Direct and overt monitoring is fine, because parents see that as part of a close relationship. But controlling and spying on their kids violates the basic trust with their children that these parents most cherish.
Middle-class and working-class parents, on the other hand, see it as part of their job to set clear limits for their children. They accept these kinds of technology as potentially helpful in doing that job. They are more likely to decide on a technology based on cost, and on whether they think a particular child needs a higher level of surveillance and control.
Moreover, middle- and working-class parents want their kids to operate within firm limits to free the parents from endless negotiation about the rules - something parents and kids in the professional class do endlessly.