Psy270FilmPaper - Richard Vasquez PSY 270-01 Parenting...

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Richard Vasquez PSY 270-01 July 26, 2013 Parenting Styles and Cultural Display Rules in the Film “Babies” The first years of life are incredibly important to the development of the human being. Babies (2010) is a wonderful documentary that explores this very concept through the early years of four children, each from different cultures around the globe. Two of those babies are prime candidates for cross-cultural comparisons. Bayar is a male born in Mongolia. His family is rather poor, residing in a small shack in a remote valley. Ponijao is a female born in Namibia. Her family lives amongst a very tight-knit community; however, as a tribe living in very rural conditions, their poverty level is even greater. The focus of this paper is to evaluate two areas of psychological development and note their presence in the lives of Ponijao and Bayar. These two areas will include parenting styles and cultural display rules. Diana Baurmind is the most notable figure to discuss parenting. According to Baurmind (1971), parenting includes four distinct styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Each of these styles features varying degrees of acceptance, involvement, control, and autonomy granting. According to the lecture, much research on US European-American children suggests that authoritative parenting is best, due to its association with positive child outcomes. The same research also suggests that uninvolved parenting is associated with highly negative child outcomes and is, therefore, the worst of the four parenting styles. Matsumoto’s and Juang’s Culture and Psychology (2013) notes that cross-cultural research on these styles is, in general, somewhat consistent. Nadia Sorkhabi’s (2005) study of numerous cultures including Egypt, China, India, and Turkey found that “authoritarian parenting is associated with negative psychological adjustment” (Matsumoto & Juang, p. 70). These styles are quite noticeable in the film.
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Ponijao’s mother appears to be very high in affection and acceptance. Indeed, many scenes depict the mother playing games with Ponijao and feeding her and her siblings simultaneously. In one scene, the mother cradles Ponijao in her arms and then quickly lifts her in a playful manner to kiss her stomach. Another scene shows the mother placing a can on Ponijao’s head and playfully instructing her to balance it as she walks. Similarly, the mother is also high in involvement. Nearly every scene featuring Ponijao includes the mother at some point. She is always nearby interacting with her children. This is true even when she is working. One scene shows the mother grinding some type of material on a rock. As she labors, Ponijao can be seen taking a nap while strapped to the mother’s back. The level of control over Ponijao seems to be
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  • Summer '13
  • MariaEspinosa-Hernandez
  • Psychology, display rules, Bayar, Ponijao

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