PSYC350 UNIT2 .docx - Unit 2 The Roles of Culture Gender...

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Unit 2: The Roles of Culture, Gender, and the Self in Adolescent Development Lesson 4: Cultural Beliefs Lesson 4: Transcript of Dr. Kier Q: What is the relationship between cultural beliefs and moral development? o Kohlberg theory of moral development is important Lesson 4 begins by defining cultural beliefs and suggesting why an examination of cultural beliefs is essential to understanding adolescent development. Arnett argues that cultural beliefs form the foundation of every aspect of socialization that takes place in adolescence. He also stresses that cultural beliefs are communicated with great intensity during adolescence. Why is this so? Arnett defines cultural beliefs as the commonly held norms and moral standards of a culture. These norms and standards of right and wrong set cultural expectations for behaviour. Given this starting point, it follows that many elements of cultural beliefs are abstract. Lesson 3 showed how major cognitive changes occur during adolescence. These changes allow young people to engage in higher levels of abstract thinking, by which they can better understand cultural beliefs. Traditionally, cultural beliefs are both taught and learned during adolescence. What cultural beliefs were passed on to you during adolescence? Individualism and Collectivism The process by which people acquire the behaviours and beliefs of their culture is called socialization . Arnett identifies three important outcomes that are central to the socialization process: o self-regulation, o role preparation, and o the cultivation of sources of meaning. All cultures share these outcomes, despite the enormous variation in socialization beliefs across cultures. Typically, societies differ primarily as to whether they value individualism or conformity. Individualistic cultures tend to give priority to independence and self-expression, while collectivistic cultures promote the interdependent self, cooperation, and mutual support. Although Western and Eastern cultures are often characterized by their tendencies to favour one approach over the other, neither can be exclusively defined as individualistic or collectivistic. Types and Sources of Socialization Arnett uses the terms broad socialization and narrow socialization to refer to the range of individual differences that cultures may encourage. Cultures characterized by broad socialization tend to favour individualism, while cultures characterized by narrow socialization tend to favour collectivism. When considering socialization, many contributors come to mind, including parents, siblings, peers, teachers, schools, the community, the media, the legal system, and cultural belief systems.
Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective of human development suggests that there are different levels of environmental influences. Specifically, Bronfenbrenner (1989) proposed a set of interconnected systems, which he termed the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem—embedded within one another like layers of the Earth’s crust. The nature of these structural systems is interactive, and their influence operates in reciprocal patterns.

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