How do hunter-gatherer children learn social and gender norms? A meta-ethnographic review

Lew-Levy, S., Lavi, N., Reckin, R., Cristobal-Azkarate, J. and Ellis-Davies, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-3835-6438, 2017. How do hunter-gatherer children learn social and gender norms? A meta-ethnographic review. Cross-Cultural Research. ISSN 1069-3971

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Abstract

Forager societies tend to value egalitarianism, cooperative autonomy, and sharing. Furthermore, foragers exhibit a strong gendered division of labor. However, few studies have employed a cross-cultural approach to understand how forager children learn social and gender norms. To address this gap, we perform a meta-ethnography, which allows for the systematic extraction, synthesis, and comparison of quantitative and qualitative publications. In all, 77 publications met our inclusion criteria. These suggest that sharing is actively taught in infancy. In early childhood, children transition to the playgroup, signifying their increased autonomy. Cooperative behaviors are learned through play. At the end of middle childhood, children self-segregate into same-sex groups and begin to perform gender-specific tasks. We find evidence that foragers actively teach children social norms, and that, with sedentarization, teaching, through direct instruction and task assignment, replaces imitation in learning gendered behaviors. We also find evidence that child-to-child transmission is an important way children learn cultural norms, and that noninterference might be a way autonomy is taught. These findings can add to the debate on teaching and learning within forager populations.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Cross-Cultural Research
Creators: Lew-Levy, S., Lavi, N., Reckin, R., Cristobal-Azkarate, J. and Ellis-Davies, K.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 23 August 2017
ISSN: 1069-3971
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/1069397117723552DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 20 Oct 2017 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 08:42
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31841

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