The Pecking Order by Dalton Conley
Which Siblings Succeed and Why

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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 who we are. Economic and social inequality among adult siblings is not the exception, Conley asserts, but the norm: over half of all inequality is within families, not between them. And it is each family’s own “pecking order” that helps to foster such disparities. Moving beyond traditionally accepted theories such as birth order or genetics to explain family dynamics, Conley instead draws upon three major studies to explore the impact of larger social forces that shape each family and the individuals within it.

From Bill and Roger Clinton to the stories of hundreds of average Americans, here we are introduced to an America where class identity is ever changing and where siblings cannot necessarily follow the same paths. This is a book that will forever alter our idea of family.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Dalton Conley

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Dalton Conley is director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research and professor of sociology and public policy at New York University. He is also adjunct professor of community medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon, among other publications. His previous books include Honky and Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America. Conley lives in New York City.
Published February 20, 2009 by Vintage. 320 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Life is just too messy and complicated for a single explanation, and if there is a pecking order within the family unit, Conley suggests it will be “conditioned by the swirling winds of society that envelop the family,” including gender expectations, the cost of schooling, the divorce rate, geogr...

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Publishers Weekly

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The surprising fact that sibling differences account for three-quarters of all differences between individuals in explaining American economic inequality acts as a challenge for NYU sociology profe

Jan 05 2004 | Read Full Review of The Pecking Order: Which Sibl...

Bookmarks Magazine

The result is an interesting and eminently readable combination of overall trends and individual family histories…" Don Gregory Seattle Times 3.5 of 5 Stars "From the first page, this book is engaging because you cannot help but think of your own family predicament."

Oct 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pecking Order: Which Sibl...

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