Understanding Interdependent/ Independent Cultures

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Key to living & working in multi-cultural environments is understanding the Why of different values & behaviors.

Parenting styles differ significantly between Interdependent & Independent cultures.

Cross-cultural psychologists examined parent-child interactions in poorer rural Cameroon & India, compared to middle-class German pairs.

The agricultural Cameroonian Nso and Indian Rajput cultures shared a style that promoted a value of community via “proximal parenting” – keeping children physically close & deeply involved in hierarchical social interaction.

The German culture practiced a “distal” style, meaning they gave more distance & autonomy to children. Play focused more on objects, increasingly so as the child grew. The former socializes people to see themselves in relation to others, the latter as independent selves.

Behaviors are deeply rooted in values that are instilled since childhood. 

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