wallsofsilence.com

Childhood trauma and its consequences
It is currently Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:56 pm

All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:52 am
Posts: 45
I now have an eBook version of The World Until Yesterday. There are 11 chapters. CHAPTER 5 is titled "Bringing Up Children" (32 pages). Below, I've copied and pasted some quotes which illustrate Jared Diamond's perspective on the subject.

Section headings in Chapter 5:
Comparisons of child-rearing
Childbirth
Infanticide
Weaning and birth interval
On-demand nursing
Infant-adult contact
Fathers and allo-parents
Responses to crying infants
Physical punishment
Child autonomy
Multi-age playgroups
Child play and education
Their kids and our kids

Quote:
Why should we be interested in child-rearing practices of traditional hunter-gatherer, farmer, and herder societies? One answer is an academic one: children account for up to half of a society's population. A sociologist who ignored half of a society's members couldn't claim to understand that society. Another academic answer is that every feature of adult life has a developmental component.

Despite those good reasons for us to be interested in child-rearing in non-Western societies, it has received much less study than it deserves. Part of the problem is that many of the scholars who go out to study other cultures are young, don't have children of their own, aren't experienced in talking with or observing children, and mainly describe and interview adults. Anthropology, education, psychology, and other academic fields have their own ideologies, which at any given time focus on a certain range of research topics, and which impose blinders on what phenomena are considered worth studying.

Even studies of child development that claim to be broadly cross-cultural—e.g., comparing German, American, Japanese, and Chinese children—are actually sampling societies all drawn from the same narrow slice of human cultural diversity. All of those cultures just mentioned are similar in sharing centralized government, economic specialization, and socioeconomic inequality, and in being very atypical of the wide range of human cultural diversity. As a result, those and other state-level modern societies have converged on a small range of child-rearing practices that by historical standards are unusual. Those practices include systems of school education administered by a state (as opposed to learning as part of everyday life and play), protection of children by police and not just by parents, same-age playgroups (as opposed to children of all ages routinely playing together), children and parents sleeping in separate bedrooms (as opposed to sleeping together in the same bed), and mothers nursing infants (if the infants are nursed at all) on a schedule often set by the mother rather than by the infant.

A result is that generalizations about children by Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, pediatricians, and child psychologists are based heavily on studies of WEIRD (Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic) societies, especially on studies of their college undergraduates and children of college professors, and have been inappropriately generalized to the rest of the world. For example, Freud emphasized the sex drive and its frequent frustration. But that psychoanalytic view doesn't apply to the Siriono Indians of Bolivia, nor to many other traditional societies, where willing sex partners are almost constantly available, but where hunger for food, and preoccupation with the food drive and its frequent frustration, are ubiquitous. Formerly popular Western child-rearing theories that stressed the need of infants for love and emotional support viewed other societies' widespread practice of breast-feeding infants on demand as "overindulgence," and classified it in Freudian terms as "excessive gratification at the oral stage of psychosexual development."

You might not feel that his book is worth buying for 32 pages of content which confirms Alice Miller's views, but I was interested in something else Jared Diamond mentioned in Chapter 4:

Quote:
Most of the Westerners who did observe and describe traditional warfare have not been professional scholars. For instance, Sabine Kuegler, daughter of missionaries Klaus and Doris Kuegler, described in her popular book Child of the Jungle how, when she was six years old, a fight with bows and arrows erupted between the Tigre clan of the Fayu (among whom her family was living) and visitors from the Sefoidi clan, and how she saw arrows flying around her and wounded men being carried away in canoes.

A couple of years ago I read the English translation of Sabine Kuegler's book, Child of the Jungle (Dschungelkind). Mostly, she thoroughly enjoyed her childhood. But at the age of 17, she left New Guinea to attended a boarding school in Switzerland. What stayed in my mind was that she found it very difficult to adjust to life in Europe and suffered from depression. She married twice and divorced twice. I haven't read her second book about her visit to the Fayu tribe in 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabine_Kuegler
OR:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabine_Kuegler

_________________
Bernard


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:52 am
Posts: 45
I forgot to say that Jared Diamond is aware of the concept of an "enlightened witness", although he doesn't use that phrase. In the section on "allo-parents" he says....

Quote:
I have heard many anecdotal stories, among my own friends, of children who were raised by difficult parents but who nevertheless became socially and cognitively competent adults, and who told me that what had saved their sanity was regular contact with a supportive adult other than their parents, even if that adult was just a piano teacher whom they saw once a week for a piano lesson.

_________________
Bernard


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:52 am
Posts: 45
I just discovered that Microsoft founder Bill Gates recommended Jared Diamond's The World Until Yesterday to readers of his blog....

Bill Gates wrote:
In this new book, he draws on his personal experiences with cultures in the Pacific Islands to talk about what traditional societies can teach us about child rearing, dispute resolution, and other areas. Even if I disagree with some of what he says, I know it will be interesting and well worth the read.

In fact, I'd like to invite you to read it along with me. I'll be posting my review of The World Until Yesterday in about two weeks. If you're interested, you can read it at the same time and post your comments.
http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Personal/S ... -List-2013

The World Until Yesterday was translated into many languages within 3 three months of its first release. I'm frustrated that Germany's runaway bestseller "Er ist wieder da", by Timur Vermes, won't be released in English until 2014. It certainly seems like something that would appeal to the British sense of humour.... on Amazon.co.uk there are already rave reviews from customers who read the German language edition.

_________________
Bernard


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group