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The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/3/2

5つ星のうち 4.0 1 件のカスタマーレビュー

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We want to think of the family as a haven, a sheltered port from the maelstrom of social forces that rip through our lives. Within the family, we like to think, everyone starts out on equal footing. And yet we see around us evidence that siblings all too often diverge widely in social status, wealth, and education. We think these are aberrant cases—the president and the drug addict, the professor and the convict. Surely in most families, in our families, all children will succeed equally, and when they don’t, we turn to one-dimensional answers to explain the discrepancy—birth order, for instance, or gender.

In this groundbreaking book, Dalton Conley shows us that inequality in families is not the exception but the norm. More than half of all income inequality in this country occurs not between families but within families. Children who grow up in the same house can—and frequently do—wind up on opposite sides of the class divide. In fact, the family itself is where much inequality is fostered and developed. In each family, there exists a pecking order among siblings, a status hierarchy. This pecking order is not necessarily determined by the natural abilities of each individual, and not even by the intentions or will of the parents. It is determined by the larger social forces that envelop the family: gender expectations, the economic cost of education, divorce, early loss of a parent, geographic mobility, religious and sexual orientation, trauma, and even arbitrary factors such as luck and accidents. Conley explores each of these topics, giving us a richly nuanced understanding that transforms the way we should look at the family as an institution of care, support, and comfort.

Drawing from the U.S. Census, from the General Social Survey conducted by the University of Chicago over the last thirty years, and from a landmark study that was launched in 1968 by the University of Michigan and that has been following five thousand families, Conley has irrefutable empirical evidence backing up his assertions. Enriched by countless anecdotes and stories garnered through years of interviews, this is a book that will forever alter our idea of family.


“Lucid and provocative. . . . It will make you think twice about how you became what you are.” —The Washington Post Book World

"Don't get too attached to tidy assumptions, such as ‘firstborns succeed’ and ‘elite colleges make the difference.’ The Pecking Order is bound to shatter them.” —Detroit Free Press

“Conley turns conventional wisdom on its head. . . . Astonishing.” —The New York Times

“A profound, controversial and blessedly easy-to-read book that ought to be required reading for armchair experts about families--their own families, and others about whom they gossip.” —The Oregonian

"Intriguing and provocative." —Howard Gardner, The Boston Globe

"[Conley] offers a revolutionary new theory -- grounded in facts and statistics -- detailing the complexities of both the familial and the societal sorting process." —Booklist

“Families can be tough. Now there’s statistical proof.” —O Magazine

“Fascinating…The Pecking Order provides a revealing and well-researched insight into modern American society.” —Tulsa World

“Authoritative yet lively... [Conley] chooses stories that get complicated, but he does not compromise the nuances of the statistical research. He keeps his prose simple…The Pecking Order brings an important but technical branch of social science to a new readership.” —Michael Hout, Contexts

“An interesting and eminently readable combination of overall trends and individual family histories.” —The Providence Journal-Bulletin

“From the first page, this book is engaging because you cannot help but think of your own family predicament.” —The Seattle Times

“A fun read with a serious intent…Conley satisfies our thirst for knowing the private lives of the rich and famous while also shedding light on the family lives of anonymous Americans.” —Stanley Aronowitz, The Nation

The Pecking Order is not a conventional parenting book, but it stands as a daunting reminder of the significant roles both parents and sibling play in determining a child’s success in the world.” —National Post (Canada)

"Reveals a much more fascinatingly shaded world than that of those who choose either nature or nurture." -Kirkus Reviews

From the Trade Paperback edition.



  • ハードカバー: 320ページ
  • 出版社: Pantheon; 1版 (2004/3/2)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0375421742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375421747
  • 発売日: 2004/3/2
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 16.1 x 2.9 x 24.2 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 4.0 1 件のカスタマーレビュー
  • Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 1,678,358位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
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5つ星のうち 4.0


形式: ハードカバー
Nature Nurture論争について社会科学者が書いた本.この手の本は行動遺伝学とか進化心理学についてすべて遺伝子決定論を主張するものと(誤解して)決め付け,それについてイデオロギチックな批判に終始する場合が多いらしいのだが,本書はそうではなく社会科学者から見た真実が主張されている,そういう意味では良心的な本である.
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コメント 1人のお客様がこれが役に立ったと考えています. このレビューは参考になりましたか? はい いいえ 評価を送る...

Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)

Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち HASH(0x8bc3f84c) 16 件のカスタマーレビュー
50 人中、48人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x8c1b16f0) Interesting Premise Weakly Presented 2004/4/16
投稿者 Amazon Customer - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
Dalton Conley presents a very interesting idea - that is, one's level of success relative to one's siblings is less the result of birth order or genetics (as is popularly believed) and more the result how much family resources (time, money, love) one receives while growing up. Along the way, he rescues the theory that parental influence is a factor, an idea that has recently been discounted.
Although his theories are interesting, the book does not do them justice. It is repetitive and, while there are many interesting profiles of siblings to illustrate Conley's premise, he does not seem to make use of all the text to give a solid foundation to his ideas. For example we learn of sisters with ineffectual parents who ended up supporting each other, financial and emotionally. After college, one went on to become a success while the other stuggled in many ways. After a page or two of reading their case we learn that one of the sisters suffered terrible injuries in an automobile accident and required two years to physically recover and more years to emotionally recover. When Conley states that it's impossible to speculate why one sister has done better the reader is incredulous - didn't he just say that one sister had catastrophic injuries? Might not that have something to do with it? It's an interesting story, but one that takes up space and is seemling unrelated to the thesis. The book is riddled with such time wasters added perhaps to flesh out meager content or study results.
Still, the book is intermittently interesting and if the reader is patient to work through the superfluous content, it could be an enjoyable and informative read. Those looking to cut to the chase about inter-familial class or economic differences would do well to look elsewhere.
55 人中、44人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x8ba1dc6c) The Common Sense Approach to Siblings' Success 2004/3/12
投稿者 JK - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
You and your siblings probably grew up together in the same areas, attending relatively the same schools, with the same set of parents/step-parents/step-siblings, etc., and you both were set in probably a similar socioeconomic background for most of your lives before the age of 18. Yet you are very different people, with very different careers, experiences, higher education backgrounds, and families.
Why. Some researchers claim that birth order makes all the difference- others like to throw gender into the equation. Even others say that the ever mystifying gene pool is responsible for every difference between siblings.
In "The Pecking Order", Dalton Conley proposes a new idea; Not so much that one variable is responsible for all differences, but that many variables factor into siblings' different experiences growing up and make them the adults they grow to be. You say, this is common sense! Yes it is, and it's hard to believe it's taken this long for a researcher to propose that idea.
The extensive research of Conley and his team is manifested in this book. Conley explains the many different variables in detail and how they affect siblings- the gene pool, birth order, family size, gender, death, desertion, divorce, immigration, family migration, socioeconomic change, and random acts of kindness/cruelty performed by those not within the family circle.
The book not only contains the factual research of Conley's team but also the interviews and stories of sets of siblings from every background imaginable, and how their different experiences affected their outcome as an adult. The interviews add a level of the personal to the book, and they validate the authenticity of the research findings.
The information is impressive in and of itself, but Conley's writing style makes for a casual, one-on-one teacher to student type reading environment. He also includes an expansive, 100+ page assortment of his appendix, notes, sources, and index. These are very helpful if you'd like to dive more into the subject.
Conley also reminds us that how siblings turn out is truly subjective- to all of the reasons he lists as well as how people turn out in general.
Very well-written, very informative, and by the end you are examining yours and your siblings' childhood experiences in a new light.
31 人中、25人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x8b0ffa8c) Disappointing 2004/7/2
投稿者 ra2sky - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
I loved the blurb on the cover and looked forward to reading this book. When Conley described how he wanted his book to be different from every other "birth order" book out there, and would use lots of statistical studies to back up his points, I was totally hooked!
Unfortunately the book just didn't amount to much. The author gives lots of anecdotes and statistics, but never manages to draw any conclusions more interesting than (1) only children and oldest children have the greatest chance for success (2) youngest children have the next greatest chance for success. Now, this is reasonably intriguing, but it only takes Conley a couple chapters to make this point. Beyond that, all the chapters are totally inconclusive. He deliberately includes an anecdote to show "a", followed by another anecdote showing "not a." After while this is pretty tiresome to read. I suppose if the reader had bought into every pop theory out there, Conley's book might serve as a good counterpoint, but otherwise it is disappointing.
19 人中、16人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x8b928f30) Interesting but Incomplete 2004/10/5
投稿者 J. Allen - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
This book was a very interesting read with a disappointing conclusion. Conley presents convincing evidence for which siblings succeed and why, but lacks an effective ending making the book feel incomplete. It is as if the author is afraid to make a solid statement about what his findings mean. Still, there is a lot of good information here and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic with the understanding that it isn't particularly well written.
23 人中、18人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x8b7b1b34) Highly Recommended! Great Food for Thought 2004/7/6
投稿者 Elizabeth - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー
I was inspired to read this book after a couple of friends of mine bought it and loved it. I wasn't sure what to expect, because I've always been a bit suspicious about the whole pop-psych birth-order thing. However, this book not only validated my suspicions about putting too much stock into that (Conley doesn't believe in birth-order theories, either), it also did a great job of addressing the myriad of factors that can (and do) affect sibling outcomes and family relationships. What I like best about the book is that it approaches such a complex topic without oversimplifying or dumbing things down. It does a great job of integrating sociological insights into real world phenomena (something that academic disciplines don't always do, unfortunately). Besides that, it's written engagingly-- Conley really knows how to hold his audience, and he strikes exactly the right balance between academic-speak and common sense. This book will make you think in new ways about why you and your siblings have turned out differently. Forget those simplistic, personality-based reasons you've been holding on to; there's way more to it than that!
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