Cross-Cultural Differences in Childrearing

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Psy 251E
17/12/2012
Childrearing Practices

Throughout my time spent here in Spain, I have found the cross-cultural similarities and differences of child-rearing practices to be an extremely interesting area of study. Comparatively the families of the American and Spanish societies have quite different methods of raising a child and introducing him or her to this world. What is and what is not socially acceptable is the only differing area when looking at any two cultures side-by-side. Certain things that are considered normal for the Spanish culture are looked at as odd from an American perspective; along with the opposite existing when the Spanish people examine American culture. The things that are taught to children living in Africa compared to those that live in America differ much more widely but still serve the same purpose. The different cultures contribute the exact same thing to each respective society in the long-run, a new productive member of each society.

How a child is raised and taught to live is a unique aspect of every culture that exists throughout the world. Rogoff states that members of each society are “prepared by both our cultural and biological heritage to use language and other cultural tools and to learn from each other.” (Orienting Concepts, P.3) Through this definition it is easy to see why child-rearing techniques are unique to each and every society. The people of any society use their own tools and their own language to teach the youth of their society what exactly it means to be part of their culture. For example, one does not see many women in the United States who are breast-feeding on the metro. This is something that is a much more private event in the United States because the people of America are less open about this daily activity. The families of Spain see it as something more open and natural and thus freely do it throughout public when their baby is hungry. This is a more obvious example of a cross-cultural...
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