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Chapter 3


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Cultural Learning • humans can understand their own and other's intentions (animals do not have this) • this shared intentionality allows us to engage in "culture learning"-learning not only from but through others • Study: chimpanzees and orang-utans vs 2-year old human children ◦ thought about space, quantities and other things similarly ◦ however, children understood intentionality, social learning and social communication on a deeper level than apes ◦ this is the foundation for cooperation with other humans ◦ basis for participating successfully in a cultural group (learn from one another and collaborate) ◦ only humans are capable of creating culture Learning Culture • culture is learned through a prolonged process and involves all learning aspects e.g. classical conditioning, operand conditioning, social learning • Socialization ◦ process by which we internalize the rules of the society in which we live ◦ involves learning and mastering societal norms, attitudes, values etc. ◦ starts from first day of life ◦ refers to the process and mechanisms by which people learn the rules of a society • Enculturation ◦ process where youngsters learn and adopt the ways of a culture ◦ refers to the products of socialization • Socialization agents ◦ people, institutions and organizations that help the socialization/enculturation process Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory • microsystem ◦ immediate surroundings with which the children interact directly e.g. family, school, • mesosystem ◦ linkage between microsystems e.g. between school and family • exosystem ◦ context that indirectly affects children e.g. parent's workplace • macrosystem ◦ culture, religion, society ◦ attitudes and ideologies of that culture • chronosystem ◦ influence of time and history **Important tenet of this theory: children are not passive recipients, they contribute by influencing and interacting with the people and institutions around them, children are active producers of their own development Super and Harkness' developmental niche • focuses on how macrosystems structure microsystems • 3 major components ◦ physical and social setting ◦ customs of child care and child rearing ◦ psychology of caregivers • child develops by the interaction of the 3 components • child influenced by their own temperament, motivations and cognitions Culture, Parenting and Families • most important mycrosystem is the family and most important socialization agents are the parents • by observing parents, we are observing the essence of a culture Six Cultures Study • Mexico, India, Kenya the United States, Okinawa and the Philippines • examined child rearing and children's behaviour • this study was important to show that the broader ecological context is tied to child rearing and development • women's work roles ◦ women
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