Culture and Development in Childhood
Culture is not just one or two elements of a person’s life; culture is defined as a person’s way of life. It includes everything from their language and customs to their social organization and government and even their arts and literature. Cultural diffusion can change how one culture thinks, even if it is not very noticeable right away. For example, if an immigrant family moves to a neighborhood from another part of the world, they will bring their nation’s customs with them, and continue to practice them. Some people in their neighborhood may find themselves participating in these foreign customs, such as celebrations. Likewise, the immigrant families may find that they do not stick to their cultural traditions as much as they did at home, particularly if there are not that many families with similar cultural components in their neighborhood. All cultures have different beliefs that guide their child-rearing techniques. Some people believe that the entire family should take an active role in raising a child, while others believe that it is strictly the responsibility of the parents. When the entire family helps to raise a child, there is greater diversity in what the child is learning. For example, a great-grandparent may teach a child a life lesson that a parent may never have thought to teach. There are some families that do not place very heavy emphasis on formal education, and as a result, the children end up not developing as well as they should. At the first grade level, the child’s peers may be able to read at a beginner level, but if their family does not think this is important, the child will not have the support and help at home needed to succeed in school. According to a study done by Saracho & Dayton in 1991, European American kids at the age of three had more positive attitudes toward reading than Mexican American or African American kids. However, each...
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