Public Seminar: The PMC Has Children

A denunciation of the credentialed elite class that serves capitalism while insisting on its own progressive heroismFrom the very moment of conception, which for professional managerial class (PMC) parents is always a “choice,” the future child and infant possesses “potential” that has to be both optimized and maximized. PMC mothers have to do prenatal yoga while setting up intrauterine Mozart streams on pregnant bellies. Preparing for a child is just the beginning of a torturous and expensive preoccupation for today’s elites. PMC people are both terrified of and thrilled by procreation, because children cannot help but amplify social anxieties about competition. For Paula Fass, fear is one of the distinctive features of contemporary middle-class parenting, as middle-class parents “imagine what an unsuccessful child might face in the future.” Even with full-time hired help, PMC working parents are stressed about infant pedagogy and proper stimulation while pulling down the double salaries that allow them to maintain upper-middle-class consumption habits.

Book excerpt at Public Seminar.