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Social and Personality Development, Cultural Difference in Adolescents

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Introduction

PYA4 - Social & Personality Development Cultural Differences in Adolescence This topic has NEVER generated a question on the examination - which DOES NOT mean that it will definitely be on the paper in January. However, in preparation, we'll consider the important AO1 and AO2 material to include; AO1 - Distinction between Individualistic and Collectivist cultures & what characterises them Experiences during adolescence may vary from culture to culture due to the values and beliefs held by such societies. Traditionally, a distinction has been made between Individualistic and collectivist cultures and with it the characteristics of each. Individualistic cultures focus on achievement and independence, autonomy and choice, whilst the emphasis in collectivist cultures surrounds social responsibility and conformity, groups needs and inter-dependence. Examples of individualistic cultures might be the UK, USA and most of Europe, whilst collectivist cultures can be observed in Mexico, the Phillippines, China and Japan. Individualistic cultures such as the USA & UK are achievement orientated so parents socialise their adolescents to be achievement orientated and independent. Collectivist cultures value personal achievement less than group achievement and obedience and responsibility. This collectivist individualist distinction falls down when one looks at other research. Some collectivist cultures, such as Japan and China, are very much achievement orientated. ...read more.

Middle

If this is the case, then the problems associated with this period of life (adolescence) can perhaps be seen to reflect cultural determination. That is to say, that wherever industrialisation has not occurred, 'storm and stress', as characterised by conflict, crisis, identity diffusion & moratorium might not be observed. It is possible that exposure to he 'universal' culture of the American media (e.g. TV, internet, etc) may act to reduce cultural differences in the experience of Adolescence. TV and the Internet represent an immediate and accessible medium for 'exploration' and provide perhaps 'stereotyped' representations o 'popular' norms and values (e.g. programmes such as 'friends' and 'Dawson's Creek'). As more people are increasingly exposed to such media we may find that the cross - cultural differences observed become less pronounced and apparent. That is to say that non - western 'adolescence' may become 'Americanised' and vice - versa. AO1 - Experiences of Adolescence in Western Vs. Non-western cultures in relation to the achievement of adult identity and status (e.g. rites of passage in N-W cultures, moratorium in W cultures) Our experiences of adolescence in Western societies do tend to involve this 'moratorium', whereby the individual is faced with 'teenage' life. Life as a teenager in the Western world brings with it choice and the challenge to develop a sense of 'self' (identity), becoming increasingly self-reliant (autonomous) ...read more.

Conclusion

She also highlighted that the community was sexually liberated, with young people being encouraged to explore, with little emotional turmoil. Research by Margaret Mead has been criticised. Freeman (1993) suggested, that whilst she studied the Samoan community in great detail her command of the local language was poor, she was "conned" by some of the teenage girls she interviewed and she "saw" what she wanted to see which lead to researcher bias. This means that her findings may be non - representative of a truly 'non - western' non- industrialised society, since the people being observed and interviewed may have presented themselves in a more positive light, in response to her investigations. Therefore the conclusion drawn by Mead lack validity, as her observations did not 'measure' what they set out to do and are subject to demand characteristics. AO1 - Extension material = Differences in sexual practices Anthropologists found that a remote island off Ireland was one of the most sexually na�ve cultures in the world. Knowledge of the basic facts in adolescence - menstruation, intercourse, conception was virtually non - existent. The Polynesia on the other hand believes hat adolescent sexual experience is extremely important. Historical differences within our society, Research has shown steady increase in the number of adolescents. Having intercourse before the age of 16 Rachael Green - Wheeler ...read more.

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