Six Cultures, Studies of Child Rearing

Six Cultures, Studies of Child Rearing

Six Cultures, Studies of Child Rearing

Six Cultures, Studies of Child Rearing

Excerpt

This volume is the first of a series of publications reporting research undertaken in 1954 by a group of social scientists from Harvard, Yale, and Cornell universities. In its broadest conception, the research was aimed at exploring cross-culturally the relation between different patterns of child rearing and subsequent differences in personality. It was designed to study the degree to which the treatment a child receives in the first years of life determines his behavior and in adult life influences his perception of the world, his philosophy, religion, and code of ethics.

Theories of the relationship between specific types of treatment in early childhood and subsequent personality difference have been advanced by psychologists and anthropologists. This project was set up with the hope of being able to test some of these hypotheses on the basis of material collected in a standard manner in six parts of the world where families have divergent ways of life and theories and methods of training young children.

In tracing the history of this project one should begin with the work of Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, Edward Sapir, Ralph Linton, Abram Kardiner, John Dollard, and other pioneers in the field of culture and personality whose work formed the foundation of this study. Such an account, which would demand an essay on the entire new discipline that grew out of the integration of anthropological and psychological theory, is not practical in this introduction.

Specifically, the impetus for this study came from the cross-cultural work on socialization done by two of the senior investigators, John W. M. Whiting and Irvin L. Child, while they were colleagues at the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. The results of this research were published in Child Training and Personality (1953). Using . . .

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