Unit 2: The Roles of Culture, Gender, and the Self in Adolescent DevelopmentLesson 4: Cultural Beliefs Lesson 4: Transcript of Dr. KierQ: What is the relationship between cultural beliefs and moral development?oKohlberg theory of moral development is importantLesson 4 begins by defining cultural beliefsand 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 beliefsas 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 CollectivismThe 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:oself-regulation,orole preparation, andothe 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 SocializationArnett uses the terms broad socializationand narrow socializationto refer to the range of individual differences that cultures may encourage. Cultures characterized by broad socializationtend 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.