Podcast: Differing Child-Rearing Practices Across Societies

Developmental psychology seems to tell us how to best to raise our children into competent and decent adults. However, comparing our theories and practices to those of other cultures raises questions about whether our ideas are ethnocentric. This topic is at the center of anthropologist David F. Lancy’s latest book, The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelines, 2nd edition (2015, Cambridge University Press). In his book, he offers a comprehensive review of cross-cultural research pertaining to societies’ treatment of children and argues that Western practices around child-rearing are out of step with those of the rest of the world. In our interview, he explains how our neontocratic orientation differs from most other societies’ gerontocratic values and offers some fresh ways of thinking about aspects of everyday family life.

David F. Lancy is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University, and author/editor of several books on childhood and culture, including Playing on the Mother Ground: Cultural Routines for Children’s Learning (1996), Studying Children and Schools (2001), and The Anthropology of Learning in Childhood (2010). He also authors the Psychology Today blogpost Benign Neglect.

Listen to the interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2