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 offensive, hard defensive and soft offensive. Adults living in South Rockaway had stringent levels in the language and emotion used – labeled as hard defensive – compared to the children living in Carter Hill. Carter Hill parents’ approach to disciplining their children was more docile, which Kusserow labeled soft offensive. Families in Beach Channel ensured that their children would continue climbing the social ladder however also used rigid language and expected their children to figure things out themselves – a category labeled as hard offensive.
Fung’s (1999) article, Becoming a Moral Child…, takes place in Taipei, Taiwan. This research examines the emotion of shaming it is culturally acceptable. The key question delves into understanding how children become functional members of society that know shame. Observations consisted of interactions with middle-class families. Participant children age ranged between two-and-a-half to four. A significant statement presented to parents inquired whether a child should be shamed when not following social norms. Results showed that less than half of participants agreed, however it is still significant because it shows that this emotion is part of the culture and socially...