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The Pecking Order: A Bold New Look at How Family and Society Determine Who We Become
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The Pecking Order: A Bold New Look at How Family and Society Determine Who We Become

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The family is our haven, the place where we all start off on equal footing — or so we like to think. But if that’s the case, why do so many siblings often diverge widely in social status, wealth, and education? In this groundbreaking and meticulously researched book, acclaimed sociologist Dalton Conley shatters our notions of how our childhoods affect us, and why we become ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 12th 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Allison Bishop
Interesting take on why some siblings are more financially successful in life, for reasons other than birth order. This was not a book I could curl up with at night, but it had enough anecdotal stories in it to make it interesting enough to pick it up while eating my lunch every day, and he made some very good points that wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise. It definitely makes you look at your own family with a fresh eye, I can't say that I loved his conclusions that you should have no more ...more
aksnowbunny Proden
interesting, but really boring to read.
Aug 30, 2007 Jennifer rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle childs
I read this book when i was experiencing self hatred. I just couldn't figure out why i was the way i am. It didnt explain everything about me, but it definitely made me realize the pitfalls in my life which made me more prone to my faults (ie. because i am a middle child, my parents tend to overlook me--> causing me to be disillusioned that i dont need anyone in my life --> but secretly wanting attention and love.)

Yak yak yak~ easy read and entertaining.

As humans one can't help but analyz
I've been trying to read this book off and on for the past... ehh ... year and this week i finally got around to finishing it off. It's very sociological, and I ended up skipping a lot of the psycho-analysis in favor of reading all of the stories from the many families he interviewed. Conclusions were not helpful, basically says that yes, this OR this may or may not have an effect on how well siblings succeed. But the stories are really interesting, and there are some insightful cause-effect rel ...more
A fairly readable look at why siblings can turn out vastly different from each other in class and social status. Probably more fun if you have siblings to compare yourself to... Conley pretty much leaves only children out of the equation, assuming that they get all of the family's resources and devotion. True to some extent, but it would have been interesting to hear more about families that are blended generationally, like mine was when I was growing up.
I thought this was an interesting book ... although when I was halfway through, I realized I had already read it a few years ago! What most struck me is how siblings can have such different childhood experiences, depending upon when they are born into a family. For example, the youngest in a family may grow up "wealthier" than the oldest, if the parents become more successful in their careers as the years go on.
An interesting book that talks about how siblings differ from each other in levels of success, and what factors contribute to sibling success. It had some good ideas, but wasn't exactly groundbreaking. Not the most fascinating boook, but I'm glad I read it. If anything, it tells you that parent's usually DON'T invest the same in every child. It can give you more compassion for your siblings and yourself.
Conley is so good at taking a family story and moving it form pat, cliche explanation to careful analysis of how class filters in to families' lives. Wow.
Some interesting points interspersed in a LOT of anecdotal stories and rambling about how it's hard to isolate variables and prove anything at all about anything. The interesting points were good enough to keep reading.
Interesting - but I burned out half-way through. I enjoyed the detailed anecdotes the best and just picked a few in each chapter. Got the gist of his theory and didn't feel I needed to read it cover to cover.
I first had this rated with 4 stars, then changed to 5 stars. This book, after going back and re-reading parts and pieces, has forever changed the way I view my childhood, parents, and siblings.
This book is all over the place. The basic theme seems to be that almost anything you can imagine can change the possibilities for success between siblings. Who knew?
Aug 07, 2007 Jennifer marked it as to-read
Been wanting to read this book since last year! If anyone has a copy, let me know. Its been out of stock at the library forever~ grrr >=T
Conley succesfully demonstrates that many other factors besides birth order affect the relative success of siblings.
It is insiteful . If you want to understand your role in your family of siblings, this will help you understand.
David Bird
It's always a bad sign when a book on a topic you find very interesting leaves you with a profound sense of "so what."
Very interesting and informative, though at times depressing. Not a quick read by any stretch of the phrase!
This book just might change how you view your siblings and everyone else you know.
Like this book enough to ask him to be a guest speaker at my conference this spring
5 million ways to mess up your kids - or - how your parents messed you up!
It's been so long...i want to read it again.
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