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Family troubles?Exploring changes and challenges in the family lives of children and young people$
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Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Carol-Ann Hooper, and Val Gillies

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447304432

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.001.0001

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Cultural context, families and troubles

Cultural context, families and troubles

Chapter:
(p.27) Chapter Two Cultural context, families and troubles
Source:
Family troubles?
Author(s):

Jill Korbin

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.003.0002

This chapter argues that questions of culture (identified as one of ten major principles affecting human development) have been seriously neglected in traditional child development research, often based on samples from very particular cultural contexts. There are methodological and ethical complexities in researching the everyday settings and practices of child development across cultures as well as between different groups within particular cultures. However culture is crucial in helping to shape the meanings of children’s everyday lives and thus in framing what comes to constitute ‘trouble’, which has to be understood with reference to community expectations of what is considered desirable. At the same time, the chapter warns of the dual dangers of confusing culture with troubles as well as mistaking troubles for culture. In seeking to unravel some of these difficult conundrums, guidance is offered under the general approach of cultural pluralism while caution is urged in making judgements about what constitutes ‘family troubles’ in variable cultural contexts.

Keywords:   Culture, Child development, Troubles, Cultural pluralism

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