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Socializing Children Into Immigrant Communities Essay

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Language and emotion are very important to human development as it creates identity and perception of the self. In addition, language and emotion are important to socialization and a person’s perception of the world. These messages are taught differently throughout the world and are influenced by the family, community and culture therefore children adapt as a result of their learned experiences (Miller and Mangelsdorf 2005). This paper focuses on research conducted by Kusserow (1999), Fung (1999) and Orellana (2001). The researchers’ methodologies differ greatly but each touches on the approach of socializing children into each culture and subculture’s teachings on acquiring various forms of language and emotion.
In De-homogenizing American individualism… Kusserow’s (1999) research questions consist of differentiating practices of teaching language and individualism among three different New York communities. These communities differ in social class and subculture. The communities include South Rockaway, a lower working class which suffers of gang violence, drug use and poverty. Beach Channel consists of a safe upper working class community and Carter Hill is an affluent to upper middle class community whose residents are predominantly professionals. Social interactions and learned language are observed between 4-year-old Caucasian children and their parents – in the home – and between children and their teachers – in the classroom. Kusserow interviews teachers and mothers, asking questions relating to the importance of educational experiences along with questions of how the child is disciplined.
It was found that all communities taught socialization appropriate to their environments. Kusserow categorized her findings as: hard of...


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...ithout complaining. In contrast to what American society has instilled in us, this research shows that children are content if they are being useful, especially if they are socialized with this mentality.


Works Cited

Fung, H. (1999). Becoming a moral child: The socialization of shame among young Chinese children. Ethos, 27(2), 180-209.
Kusserow, A.S. (1999). De-homogenizing American individualism: Socializing hard and soft individualism in Manhattan and Queens. Ethos, 27(2), 210-234.
Miller, P. J. & Mangelsdorf, S. C. (2005). Developing selves are meaning-making selves: Recouping the social in self-development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 109, 51-59.
Orellana, M. F. (2001). The work kids do: Mexican and Central American immigrant children’s contributions to households and schools in California. Harvard Educational Review, 71(3), 366-389.



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