Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Discovering Socialization Priorities in Turkish Society Based on What the Value of Success Means

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Discovering Socialization Priorities in Turkish Society Based on What the Value of Success Means

Article excerpt

Technological and scientific advances, as well as cultural interactions, have an effect on the lifestyles in a society. Changing life conditions demand societies to educate individuals so they are equipped with the necessary qualifications to adapt to these conditions. Consequently, the cultural fabric of societies undergoes a change over time. This change also leads to a change in the values system of societies, as values are one of the most important elements that constitute culture (Bond, 1994). Because values represent individual and societal priorities (Schwartz, 2006), changes in cultural structure actually lead to a change in educational priorities (Neuliep, 2012). Education systems are one of the most important tools for societies in preparing their members for the changing conditions of life, and therefore for the future. However, education systems should determine the needs and priorities regarding education in their societies in order to fulfill this function. To achieve this aim, it is undoubtedly an important necessity that education systems should constantly be developed in accordance with the scientific, technological principles and advances, as emphasized under the Basic Principles of Turkish National Education within the national education basic law of 1973 (no. 1739), as well as in accordance with the needs of the environment and country. Scientific research and review should also be utilized. Determining the educational priorities of social life in a society, currently and in the future, requires revealing the cultural structure of that society, as well as the values that this structure emphasizes by means of scientific research. This study was conducted to determine the upbringing and educational priorities in Turkish society based on the meanings attached to the value of success in this society.

Culture is made up of the characteristics that emerge from the interactions of individuals and groups within their natural and personal surroundings (Kim, 2001; Kim & Park, 2006). Culture provides people with the symbolic information necessary for them to know who they are, identify what is meaningful, form interactions with others, and manage the environment. People use culture to make sense of the world (Kim & Park, 2006). They think, feel, act, and form their own reality through culture (Shweder, 1991). Because the cultural environment is a constant part of people's psychological reality (Kagitçibasi, 1998), the most decisive influence on their interactions comes from the cultural context in which they live (Neuliep, 2012). As a result, people who share the same culture are more likely to have similar attitudes, values, views, and behaviors towards life compared to those from different cultures.

A culture's past is inevitably connected to its present and guides its future. Learning a culture's past means learning its values (Neuliep, 2012). The elements that parents emphasize in conversations with their children during childhood form some views in these children related to their cultural self (Mullen & Yi, 1995; Wang, 2007; Wang & Fivush, 2005). While mothers in some cultures express individualistic (independent and autonomous) identity structures as a way to reflect their cultural background in the conversations with their children, those in other cultures point out mutual commitment and relational identity as a reflection of their cultural background (Gutchess & Indeck, 2009; Wang, 2007). Therefore, various values that are built on autonomy or relatedness contribute to the formation of cross-cultural differences in the long-term autobiographical memory (Wang, 2008).

Triandis (1989) defined individualists as people who give priority to personal goals over the common goals in society, and collectivists as those who do not make a distinction among personal goals or who prefer common goals over personal goals. Individualists perceive themselves as independent from society, prioritize self-loyalty, and are more interested in their preferences, values, autonomy, needs, and rights (Hui & Villareal, 1989; Kagan, 1984; Triandis, 1990, 1995; Triandis, McCusker, & Hui, 1990). …

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