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The Differences In The Parenting And Parenthood Concepts In Cultures (Essay Sample)


The differences in the parenting and parenthood concepts across various cultures in the world.

Parenting and Parenthood Name Institutional Affiliation Authors Note I have written the research paper with the intention of expounding on the sociological perspective and theories related to family and kinship. The differences in the parenting and parenthood concepts across various cultures in the world will also be analysed. Parenting and Parenthood Family and Kinship A family is an important social institution that has been extensively studied by sociologists. Family and kinship are related concepts although there is a difference between them. Through an analysis of our lives, it is evident that the two concepts play a significant role from birth until old age. The form of relationship that we establish between the two have a significant impact on members of all communities and affects how they perceive the world. Generally, a family is a group including the parents and the children while a kinship can be understood through the blood relationship of individuals (Mair, 1984). Parenting and parenthood are essential concepts that ultimately determine kinship and family values depending on the approach given by various communities around the world. A family is the smallest unit of any society and therefore, one of the most important institutions that facilitate the proper societal functioning. The concept of the family is not only essential in the modern world but was also important in the pre-modern setting when hunting and gathering was the way of life. George Peter Murdock is one of the classical scholars to make significant contributions to this field of study. He considered the family as a social group that shares a common residence, cooperate economically and reproduces to pass on the values to the offspring (Miller, 2002). In this setting, two adults are supposed to have a socially approved sexual relationship in order to have or adopt children. Kinship has been defined by many scholars using the common idea of blood relationship that is established through aspects such as marriage, adoption or genetic relations. At the basic level, Kinship has the family and later extend to an entire clan. From this approach, it is evident that the family is more restrictive compared to kinship which implies a relatively larger number of members. A profound analysis of the different cultural contexts in the world reveals that kinship can differ. There are societies and tribes that carry out rituals which affect the conventional understanding of the kinship concept. However, it is essential to underscore the fact that kinship covers a wide array of roles, responsibilities, duties and privileges. In the modern society, the Asian community has the best form of kinship which is valued and followed to determine the manner that the society is structured (Bhatti, 2002). Patterns in Parenting and Parenthood Before delving into kinship and how the family functions, it is essential to understand the concept of parenting, how it has changed over time, and the manner that different communities in the world perceive it. As the caregiver of the offspring, a parent is supposed to be well versed with the history of the family and its experiences. A parent-child relationship should have the mother and the father playing an active role in modelling the child beliefs and behaviour (Walsh, 2015). In some communities, the person referred as the father may not be the biological parent like the Malagasy where the Tanala Tribe where a man claims that the first three children born by a divorced wife are his (Kottak, 1971). The case in Australia is also unique in as far as the system of families and kinship is concerned. Some Australian tribes divide the society into classes, and a child born in a given class can only marry from within (Spence, 2004). These people can have from four to eight classification levels that even permit the marriage between cousins. Despite these differences, it turns out that the formation of relationship vary once a union is established. Within a certain range, there are responsibilities and duties that members are supposed to carry out. The Yoruba people in Nigeria have a unique system too in which the term father refers to the male biological parent, his brothers and the brothers of the female biological parent (Thornton & Frickle, 1987). A great variation would then be observed among the Hawaiians in Polynesia where the term ‘Makua’ is used for both parents as well as their brothers and sisters (Thornton & Frickle, 1987). In the modern westernised societies, the family has evolved, and the importance of the kinship system has subsequently changed. The Indians, for example, have a built-in system that touches on the widows laying claims of a shade relationship. In important ceremonies like weddings, no kin should be absent, therefore enjoying the privilege of invitations. In some unenlightened societies around the world, extended members of a family must be consulted and actively engaged in important kins activities such as marriage and education but the pattern changes in an urban setting where these activities are reduced to mere formalities (Shenk et al., 2016). Sociological Perception of Parenthood The concept of parenthood is understood from various perspective depending on the community being focused on. However, there are conventional approaches that are accepted across all societies. One of the agreed upon ideas is that parenthood as a child-caring aspect. Caring for the children is an important aspect that the family underscores. Caring implies protecting the siblings, attending to their needs and feeding them (Bornstein, 2001). Effective care creates an affection and child feels an important member of a given family. The form of activities that comprises child care might vary depending on the dominant religion, social norms and the laid down laws. The law, for example, often rules that parents are caregivers until the young ones have attained maturity and thus, no longer dependent on any form of support. From a religious perspective, some societies hold the belief that the creator assigned them the duty of taking care of the innocent souls. As a result of these beliefs, parents worry about inculcating negative habits which have negative impacts on their character, expression of themselves and the degree of trustfulness. Parenting is also understood and explained from a family-making perspective. In some communities, children are first conceived in order to consider a family as having being established. Enlarging a family is further affected by cultural, political and economic factors that have made people opt for contraceptives to prevent children from being a burden hence, their needs cannot be adequately met. Abortive effects have also been critical in postponing family making until a later and more convenient time. Having children is a way of continuing the family and in some communities, a mean of reassuring immortality when one dies. Parental power is essential in ensuring that young ones are effectively socialized through instilling common values. Raising children is also considered as an important aspect of parenthood in various communities around the world. Parents ensure that their children have the best characters, tastes and values in order to prevent chances of deviant behaviours that attract negative sanctions. Playing these roles makes parents be the first teachers who teach language, domestic skills as well as moral values. The period that parents take to raise their children varies depending on cultural beliefs, customs and economic factors. In most cases, children are left upon maturity age and being capable of providing for themselves. Parenting and Parenthood across Communities Over time, parenting has changed as people adopt western cultures. The culture is however not perfect because developed nations like the United States is currently undergoing a crisis because very few parents understand the concept of parenting (Riskind & Patterson, 2010). As a result, there is a high dependence on the advice from experts in order to make children successful and productive members in the future. This lack of knowledge places the children at a high risk of growing in a troubling manner in which they learn and discover things on their own because the parents are either clueless about parenting or too busy to mould and direct them towards a brighter and promising future. In Scandinavian countries like Norway, parenting is taking as a serious concept in which the government play an active role. At a young age, children join daycare’s that are state-sponsored. Norwegian authorities must have realised that parenting is a critical aspect and when people are left to do it depending on their little knowledge, a confused generation is likely to emerge (Lorensen et al., 2004). A similar approach is adopted in Japan where there is a strong belief that children should learn about being independent and doing things on their own. At night, the children are supposed to have ample time with their parents. For example, there is the right to have the parents’ bodies as their comfort at night, a provision which should not be denied. The idea is more emphasized in Korea where parents spend most of their time with children making physical contact (Cote et al., 2015). Parenting in the Jewish communities lays emphasis on other aspects such as ensuring that children are taught how to swim (Bitter, 2014). The act is meant to make them independent and learn that making mistakes in life can land them into problems. American parents are however different because they are more protective and do not believe that the young ones should be exposed to dangers, violence or even predators. Besides, the culture encourages people to nurture the talents so that the children are prepared to become successful people in life. The parenting environment in Netherlands however different from ...
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