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Cross-Cultural Variations

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Cross-Cultural Variations In this article I will be discussing cross-cultural variations gaining my ideas and knowledge from two separate articles and synthesising the two together. Cross-cultural variations can be described as 'the ways that different groups of people (e.g. members of a society or subcultures within a society) vary in terms of their social practices and the effects these practices have on development and behaviour'. In the context used, culture refers to the rules, customs, morals and ways of interacting that bring together members of a society. These rules are learnt through a process called socialisation which allows people to act appropriately around other members of their culture. There are different subcultures within a society which can be described as a group of people that 'shares many of the dominant characteristics of a society, but may also have some distinctive characteristics of its own'. Cross-cultural research has increased general understanding of the development of attachments because it has shown both similarities and differences in the attachment process and has helped understanding that different factors have effects on how an attachment is formed. ...read more.


In many of the studies the strange situation was used to determine the mother-infant reaction. The strange situation consists of 8 steps: 1) Parent and infant are introduced to the experimental room. 2) Parent and infant are alone. Parent does not participate while infant explores. 3) Stranger enters, converses with parent, then approaches infant. Parent leaves inconspicuously. 4) Stranger's behaviour is geared to that of infant. 5) Parent greets and comforts infant, then leaves again. 6) Infant is left alone. 7) Stranger enters and gears behaviour to that of infant. 8) Parent enters, greets infant, and picks up infant; stranger leaves inconspicuously. Separation protest, the infant's willingness to explore, stranger anxiety, and reaction to reunion with the caregiver are the key behaviours used to assess the security/insecurity of the attachment relationship. Van IJzendoom and Kroonenberg carried out a meta-analysis of research which had studied attachments in other cultures. ...read more.


She found that essentially the attachment relationship was applicable to the two diverse cultures but she recognised that some attachment behaviours differed such that American children greeted their 'attachment figure' with a hug and a kiss whereas the African children clapped when their 'attachment figure' returned. Cultural differences in attachment behaviours could be explained by the childrearing methods used within a country. For example, it would be expected that children brought up in the US (an individualist culture) would be brought up differently that children in Japan (a collectivist culture). This can be seen in the example that the emotional reaction to most US children to separation is anxiety because the absence of the mother threatens the newly developing child due to the emphasis on the importance of the individual within the US culture. With Japanese children, however, it is sadness and loss because the child feels they are no longer part of the group due to the Japanese idea of the importance of the group. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sammie Pinker ...read more.

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