Developmental Perspectives - Dr. Ana Garcia Nevarez
Culture and Self Labels in Young Children
Posted December 1st 2014

Through the process of socialization, children learn the values, behaviors, and social patterns of their ethnic group before they gain the ability to self-label. Families pass their culture on to their children by socializing their children to become members and participate in a particular culture. Although a family may live in the United States, it may function within a subculture based on its ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, or sexual orientation. Parents being the primary caretakers are the primary socializing agents. Parents socialize children to encourage the development of those qualities and attributes required for their expected adult roles in their particular subculture or society. To illustrate this, Barry, Child, and Baconís (1959) study assessed 104 societies to find out whether the child rearing practices of parents in industrialized societies, such as the United States, differed from those of parents in agricultural societies, such as India. They found that parents in industrialized societies socialized children for achievement and independence, whereas parents in agricultural societies socialized children for obedience and responsibility. Another study compared European-American and Japanese mother-infant interaction and found that European-American mothers interacted more vocally with their infants, whereas the Japanese mothers exhibited more body contact with their infants and, in so doing, soothed them into quiescence. The European-American infants tended to be more vocal, active, and explorative of their environment than the Japanese infants, who tended to be more passive (Caudill, 1988). Have you ever seen or experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes?

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Reply from Mira Artishuk posted on December 19th 2015
Cultural variations do exist in children's socialization processes. I have seen this variation in everyday life as well as the classrooms. In the classrooms, I see children have different social skills on the playground as well as during group work. For example, some children would talk to other children while others did not participate in socializing with their peers. This could be a result of how the parents and household has influenced them. Some parents value independence more and some parents value interdependence more and pass that down to their children.
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Reply from Briana Gonzalez posted on December 15th 2015
I have seen cultural variations in children's socialization processes; especially growing up in Sacramento. Here the classrooms are so ethnically diverse, that it was interesting to see how parents interacted and communicated with their children at open house events, or even when picked up from school. I also thought it was interesting how each culture valued education and respect.
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Reply from Zainab Khan posted on December 14th 2015
Children gain many different approaches and learning styles from the different cultural patterns they are raised in. Many parents take various child rearing approaches and those from other cultures may perceive certain parenting attributes as harsh and authoritarian, but in the context of where they live and the environment their approach to parenting is beneficial to the child. It is important to have awareness and acknowledge the diversity in other cultures by studying the different cultural contexts.
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Reply from monalisa santos posted on December 14th 2015
I have seen cultural variations in children's socialization processes. I use to work for an after school program that had children who spoke English as their second language. I have seen many different cultures in one classroom. It is interesting seeing how parents interact with their children when picking them up or when communicating with me about their child's progress in the class. Some parents are very strict about their child's school work and there are some parents who are encouraging to have their children do well in school but not always asking about their school work. When there is disciplinary actions needed, the parents of different cultures respond to it differently. Some parents like to talk to the child asking what happens and others just take the word of the teacher and does not let their child explain what happens. There are many cultural variations seen in schools
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Reply from Hannah Davis posted on December 14th 2015
I have definitely experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes before. I work at a children's non-profit agency in Solano County, and I have come to recognize that every child and every family is different in regards to their social skills. Some babies are very physically attached to their caregivers as the caregivers hold them most of the time. And some children are detached and anti-social around others because of the lack of socialization their caregivers have provided them with. Personally, I was very social as a child because my mother talked to me a lot and I was appropriately attached to her, physically and emotionally. I know am still very social and talkative. I know a few people who were raised by caregivers who never gave them the appropriate attention and did not socialize them at a young age, which now results in them being anti-social, or not very social at all.
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Reply from Bao Her posted on December 13th 2015
I have seen or experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes. I grew up in a Hmong culture surrounded by my family and extended family who were born in Laos and Thailand. I was born in Sacramento and my parents are more Americanize than my grandparents. My Hmong culture and my American culture has helped me respected other cultures and made me more open mind about other's perspective.
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Reply from Tina Hy posted on December 13th 2015
I have definitely seen and experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes through different caregivers and different physical environments. I myself grew up in a Chinese culture surrounded by my family who were born in Asia, while I was born in Sacramento into the American culture. I essentially identify myself within two cultures and it has helped me grow with an open mind.
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Reply from Bethlehem Tewolde posted on December 12th 2015
I have seen or experienced cultural variations in childrenís socialization processes. I grew up in a family that socialized me to be obedience and responsible. There was no such thing as individuality. My family were very authoritarian very strict. When I became a parent I promised myself that I will give my child freedom, and the chance to make her own choices. I wanted to be authoritative parent. I socialized my child for achievement and independence totally the opposite of how I was socialized growing up as a child. I knew what I had to go through growing up as a child in America, I was constantly socialized only to be obedience without any freedom to express my individuality and I didnít want to pass that on to my daughter. Children need be socialized to be respectful, but also they need to be thought individuality.
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Reply from Sarah Ruiz posted on December 8th 2015
I am currently volunteering at a dual-immersion school which teaches Spanish and English at different levels. The teachers and faculty member speak primarily in Spanish and I notice culture variations from this staff compared to a staff at an all English-speaking school. At the Language Academy of Sacramento, where I am currently volunteering, the staff members are affectionate with the children, as well as very verbal in terms of their disciplinary actions. Commands one would say in English often have harsher connotations in Spanish, including the Spanish equivalents to "don't be rude", "pay attention", or "behave". I noticed that staff members take on a "motherly" role with the children because of the culture and how warm we tend to be. In turn, the students seek guidance and comfort in the teachers and other staff members, as well as myself, throughout the school day. There is a real sense of family I sense at LAS and much is due to the impact of culture on socialization processes.
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Reply from veronica posted on December 7th 2015
Yes I have. Culture variations are something very common due that cultural diversity. Different cultures vary from one another, and even within a culture there is variation in what people and families believe and how they act. For example, parental beliefs about play and participation in play with their children. Parents in western developed societies are more likely to embrace play as important for childrenís cognitive and social development and to see themselves as play partners to children. Whereas families for other cultures interacting with their children is not as important especially, for parents from low socioeconomic status. I grow up in a family that did not value much other than work so I had to work most of my childhood. Play time was considered a waste of time. I donít really remember free playtime other then the recess at school. Other children from my community were allowed to play freely in the afternoons while I was busy doing whatever my parents thought was more important.
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Reply from Wendy Morales posted on December 7th 2015
In one of my college classes I had an exchange student taking the same course as me. She looked quite surprised by how much the students would interact and participate in school. I never saw her ask questions in class or state her opinion. She was very quiet. I spoke to her a couple of times, she told me that she was a bit culture shocked at how different US schools are from back home. In the end of the semester I saw improvement in her participation in class. She was adjusting to the practices here and was also adopting to some of the American traditions that we have after a while. It was nice to see that although she kept a lot of her culture traditions she was also accepting others.
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Reply from Ariadne Singh posted on December 7th 2015
I think that culture plays a huge role in the socialization of children because it helps shape the child into the adult they become. Coming from two diverse cultures, Indian and Panamanian, has allowed me to view the world in different perspectives. I grew up with my mom, who is from Panama, and learned about the culture as well as the language. I find myself behaving in ways that are more common and acceptable in the Hispanic culture over my Indian side. For example, I am very outspoken which is most likely due to my cultural upbringing. However, being outspoken as a female is not a reinforced trait in the Indian culture because women are taught to be soft spoken and less opinionated. Although I consider myself both Panamanian and Indian, my behaviors often reflect my Panamanian heritage due to my upbringing.
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Reply from Ninnette posted on December 6th 2015
I have experienced firsthand cultural variations with the upbringing of my nephew. My sister and her husband are more American, being that my brother-in-law is Caucasian. My sister has always resonated more with the American culture rather than our Latin roots. My nephew has grown up with American customs because of his parents but his socialization is more rooted with Latinos. In school he is surrounded by mainly Latino children and in my parents household he is taught certain Latino customs like speaking Spanish. Since my mom is his main caregiver, he is encouraged to learn Spanish and follow some Latino traditions.
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Reply from Spruce P. posted on October 20th 2015
One hundred and sixty eight hours is an intriguing idea. That much time can seem like nothing at all. For others its more then they know what to do with. They say time fly\'s when your having fun, but the same is true for learning. When you are teaching or learning a new skill, an hour can disappear so fast. When you don\'t care or understand the same amount of time can feel like forever. I would like to feel that the time I spent teaching archery at my old summer camp went fast. I enjoyed the experience so much. I know so many of the kids did aswell. They would say, \"Is class over already?\" So I know I did my part. So much was the reward when a child asked if I was going to be working at the camp in a few years because he wanted to work with me. I hope everyone gets to feel that same reward as they partake in their classroom experiences.
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Reply from Natasha Aguirre posted on September 20th 2015
I have personally seen the cultural variations in the way that children socialize in my own life. I am a mother and personally I tend to be very vocal with my son so that he can learn and hear new words every day. For example as we walk around at the store I am talking to him about all kinds of things. When I see other parents in the store who are of other ethnicities I see them doing the complete opposite, they are often trying to quite their children asking them to behave by telling them they need to be quite. In my culture speaking out in public as a child is not seen as a negative thing unless of course you are throwing a fit. Instead it is seen as a way to grow by ask questions and making statements on things; even in the grocery store.
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Reply from Sophie posted on May 29th 2015
I think that culture and socialization are a huge part of a child's development. Each cultures shapes who we are as individuals , our though process and what behaviors are being presented. Every culture is different and I think that it is important for cultures to socialize with each other.
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Reply from ShaNice Patterson posted on May 19th 2015
I believe that culture is important for the socialization of children. Children learn form their families. The family climate at home determines how you will socialize with others around you. I noticed when working with Asian children they are more quiet compared to African American or Euro-American children. I understand the difference because are differences varies by culture. Its okay to be quiet in the Asian community and its okay to be louder in the Euro/African American community.
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Reply from Victoria Thomas posted on May 15th 2015
In my lifetime, I have noticed some culture socialization. First, my family and I are African-American. I noticed that my mother is emotionally close to me. She is like my best friend which I don't see in my friends who are not African-American. I feel since my mother and I are very close I feel I can trust people more. My boyfriend who is Polynesian him and his family barely speak. I just believe every culture is different but it doesn't make culture more right.
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Reply from Demetra Rozakis posted on May 7th 2015
I agree that there are difference in culture socialization and I have experienced cultural variation in children's socialization processes. For example, my family is Greek. My parents have raised me and my sisters around the Greek culture. We all fluently speak, read and write in Greek. All throughout the year we participate in Greek culture events all over the United States, including dance competitions. In Greece most children don't move out of the house until they get married and their parents support them for a long time. They also have a lot of freedom. My parents follow this with me and my sisters too. Also, my senior year of High School I helped out in a TK classroom and there was a hispanic boy and a russian girl. The Hispanic boys mother did not speak English but she still wanted to be involved with the school and came. SHe seemed more lenient and the Russian girl did not come to school on halloween because in the Russian culture they do not believe in it. There are a lot of different cultures in our world and they can definitely affect development.
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Reply from marissa coss posted on December 19th 2014
I have in fact experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes. I babysat for many different families during high school and throughout college so far and every family has their own culture, values, and ways of raising their children. All the families that I have babysat for are all located in the Sacramento area, and the parents all know each other through their work. I believe the way people define culture varies. by parents deciding how one should act or be, well it affects how kids socialize. If parents allow their children to have that freedom that every child wants then they are going to grow to be independent.
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Reply from Feuy Saeteurn posted on December 16th 2014
I agree that socialization does allow children to learn about the values and behavior patterns of their ethnic group before they learn about their own self identity. I have seen cultural variation in children's socialization processes. At the day care that I work at, the children exhibit different personalities. For example some parents tend to hold their children more when they are crying, so I have seen that a few of the children have difficulty with attachment. Other children are more independent because their parents try to have them practice doing things on their own. In my culture, my parents try to socialize my siblings and I for obedience and responsibility similar to the parents in agricultural societies. My parents try to instill values of familial piety and the importance of the responsibility of family. When I make decisions, family is a big factor.
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Reply from Eduardo Torres posted on December 15th 2014
It is clear that different parts of the world take different perspectives on how children should socialize. For example, my parents are Hispanic, and I was raised to be very disciplined and obedient and I have Caucasian friends that are very social but are not as attentive to what their parents tell them. Even in our own country we can see differences in socialization, people always refer to residents of the southern states and polite and friendly, while referring to northerners as rude or arrogant.
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Reply from Danielle Schubert posted on December 11th 2014
I believe that socilization for any child is key for development. But is exceptionally essential in diverse cultural homes. Personally I have seen some of children that grow up in multi cultural homes. The day care and preschool that I work at have a few kids that speak both languages. Specifically in my preschool I have two kids that are both from Korean homes, where both parents were born in Korea but moved to the United states. Both of those kids seem to get along with everyone in their class. Their language development is great even though they speak Korean fluently they can all speak English very well and are very vocal in class. It was difficult when they first came to class and could barely speak English but they picked up on it very fast through their peers and now are more advanced in socilization skills than other children.
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Reply from Shannon Slabaugh posted on December 10th 2014
I understand and believe in socialization. Growing up where I did, I saw many different people from all different areas and cultures. There were people who had grown up in very rural areas along with people who had grown up in very wealthy places and then of course there were the typical suburbans who lived a very "average" lifestyle. I could see that the kids growing up in moral rural areas had a much different mentality than the kids who had grown up in the wealthier parts. The kids who were raised on farms, had much more responsibility and maturity than the kids who had things handed to them and didn't have much responsibility forced upon them by their parents. I saw that the suburban kids were mainly in between the rich kids and the farm kids and the middle class kids were given both responsibility like chores and many luxuries from their families. Growing up where I did I definitely witnessed socialization at it's finest and got to see it work through many different lifestyles.
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Reply from Evelyn Sanchez posted on December 10th 2014
I have seen and expirienced the cultural variations amongst children and the way they socialize. For example, in my hometown where majority of parents are agriculture workers, theit kids show that in the simplicity of play. They tend to be more of the "followers" rather than the "leaders" since they are more obedient and the children from industrialized jobs tend to more independent and autonomous. Therefore, the socialization among the way children with different cultural backgrounds is shown in the simple way they just play.
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Reply from Victoria Scalla posted on December 10th 2014
Yes I believe in socialization because I can see in many of my classes the difference between the individuals who are from different cultures. It is very apparent that if you are from a different culture you will act very different. I think it is important that these cultures interact with each other and don't only interact with there own culture
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Reply from Evelyn Sanchez posted on December 10th 2014
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Reply from Carson Arnold posted on December 9th 2014
Yes, I have in fact experienced cultural variations in children's socialization processes. I babysat for many families during high school and every family had their own culture, values, and ways of raising their children even though we all came from the same town and economic class. I believe the way people define culture varies and the way parents decide to engage their children in culture is a major factor in how kids socialize. If parents allow their children to roam freely they are more independent, from what I have seen personally.
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Reply from alexus espindola posted on December 8th 2014
Depending on where a child is from can affect the way they think and view the world. In my past experiences working in a classroom filled with a range of cultures, the children have already learned what their parents think about different issues. When the child learns from their parents it can be hard to show them a new way of thinking. After a while after learning in the schools and by peers the child will began to develop their own ways of viewing things.
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Reply from Vanessa Vin posted on December 6th 2014
I do agree that there are differences within cultural socialization. I have seen the diversity between my cousins that have been born and raised in America and my cousins who came from Cambodia. Although growing up with my grandma raising us who spoke no English was different it forced us to learn our cultural background. When my grandma was growing up her mother taught her to cook and clean at a young age because they lived in poverty she could not attend school either. As a result, my grandma taught us the same, to cook and clean at a young age and to be responsible and respectful which is apart of our culture. However, she also learned from her mother and made school our top priority. She knew that coming to America education is success rather than in Cambodia where it was not important to have education. In conclusion, overall my grandmas cultural influence on me has broaden my socialization processes.
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Reply from Natalie Horwath posted on December 4th 2014
I have seen differences in cultural socialization, specifically the differences between how my siblings grew up and how our foreign exchange student grew up. In high school my family had a foreign exchange student live with us for about a year. She was unfamiliar with western culture and very surprised by the fact that my family had five children! She is an only child and everyone she knows does not have any siblings. She was overwhelmed with the idea of sharing rooms, taking care of younger siblings, and hammy down clothes which is a normal occurrence within my family. She grew up with many rules and responsibilities, unlike my siblings who do and say whatever they want. I think this is partly because there are so many of us and my parents can't control five teenagers. I would say that she was socialized much better in the long run than we were...
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Reply from Luisa Ayala posted on December 3rd 2014
Yes I have seen a lot of cultural variations in children's socialization process. My cousins were all born in the United States but my aunt is from Mexcio therefore they speak spanish and they grew up with the Mexican culture. She has taught them to be respectful, not talk when others are talking, respecting your elders and just basic things that she was taught when she was young. The most important thing for her is for them to not forget about their roots an even though they were born here their mom was born in another country so they will obviously have different traditions than everyone else. I actually think that it is pretty cool how we get to experience two cultures. I was born in Mexico so I have my Mexican traditions but because I live here then I also get to live with some American traditions.
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Reply from zoua yang posted on December 2nd 2014
Yes I have seen or experienced cultural variations in childrenís socialization process before. Iím actually one who grew up as a child that experienced it. My parents came from Thailand and strictly stick to the Hmong traditions we have over there. Even though I was not born in Thailand, I can see my parents promoting more obedience and responsibility compared to self-independency. I remember in my elementary years, I will see other children raising their hands and them having so much courage to express how they feel and what they know. I was taught from my parents, if I did not know something, then to not talk or I will be embarrassed. I closed in until almost the end of high school to finally took the initiative to change and assimilate with the peers around me. To me, that was the only reason to catch on to their level. My parents know education is important and it is the key to happiness here in America. But despite that, they still want us to not leave our culture and to continue doing what we do at home. My and many other asian parents expected us children to achieve good grades and be independent and at the same time, be responsible and stay obedient. It is a hard task to manage all these. However, it is just the cultural variations that occurs in southeast asian people.
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Reply from pam vang posted on December 2nd 2014
I agree with the passage. More Western families teach their children to be independent and that education is important. While other families that are more of a collectivist socialization teach their children the values of taking care of one another and their families. Also to not be lazy, or to be responsible. My family is a very collectivist family, my parents brought us up to have an education but to not forget where we came from or who our family is. We are to always take care of one another and never let one fall behind. Being obedient is more important in my culture than to succeed or higher education.
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Reply from meng yang posted on December 2nd 2014
Yes, to answer if i have seen or experiences children's socialization differences, i have. My fellow peers here in the US are quite different than how my peers whose parent's came from elsewhere, such as southeast asia. I can see that the asian parents do actually promote more obedience and responsibilty where as the american parents promote self-independent to their children. I can see this because a lot of kids whose parents are immigrants, talk a lot less compared to those whose parents are from here. Also, kids whose parents are not from here normally wait to be told to do something whereas compared to the others, they get up and do things on their own, waiting on no one even if it's necessary or not.
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