Case Study

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Case Pg. 56 Q. 3
February 21, 2013

Q- To what extent might Margaret’s attitudes and discipline of Patrick be explained by cultural factors? Could Margaret’s approach to dealing with Patrick be justified as culturally acceptable and appropriate?

Throughout this case description discussed by Candace, there are constant examples of egregious behavior shown by Margaret toward her foster child Patrick. Although her parenting style may seem horrific from an outside perspective, Margaret may only hold certain cultural values that influence the way she chooses to raise Patrick. Whatever attitude Margaret may have, right or wrong, could actually be explainable through a closer look at the culture she was brought up in throughout her life.

While Candace doesn’t offer an in-depth analysis of the cultural background in which Margaret was brought up in (and still holds values from), certain inferences can be drawn about that type of culture by taking into account the information that is provided throughout the case description. A reasonable assertion you can make of Margaret’s parenting beliefs would be that she upholds a high level of discipline within her household. It is repeatedly emphasized that Margaret encourages the teaching staff at Patrick’s school to use physical beatings in order to keep him in line. While his type of discipline style may be frowned upon in society, Margaret may have been brought up in a family in which she was the recipient of corporal punishment. That type of upbringing could harden an individual for life and lead them to implement the same punishment on their children. Physical discipline at home would certainly explain Patrick’s immediate change from outlandish into cowardly once his mother enters the classroom. It would also be reasonable to think that Margaret has a high level of frustration dealing with a child born with a defect like fatal-alcohol syndrome. She may not have the patience and nurturing skills that are so vital in...
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