Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Parents, Children, and Professions

A few years ago at a meeting of the American [YYY] Association, my wife spoke on a panel of children of practitioners of [YYY] about their experiences growing up around [YYY]. Her twist was the she went into [YYY] like her father and attributes her early interest in the subject to his influence (and that of her mother who studied a cognate field). She also feels that as she gravitated toward this field in her undergraduate and graduate studies she had a better idea of what she was getting into than some of her peers. So this article at Inside Higher Education reporting on a panel of parent-child pairs of historians at the American Historical Association caught my eye. (It might have caught my eye anyway because I know one of the child historians featured, Adam Davis.)

An interesting commonality is that children of [YYY]-ists and children of historians who go into these fields often specialize in different aspects of the field than the parent. This is the case for my wife (we joke about her limited sense of rebellion).

I certainly don't expect that any of my children will become historians, but it is interesting to think that they would have a better sense of what it's all about than I did.