in the development of early relationships is influenced by the transmission of values and behaviors from one generation to the next, the “transformation ” of those values and behaviors by the contemporary social context, and individual differences among caregivers (García Coll and Magnuson, 2000; Harkness and Super, 1992, 1996; Miller and Goodnow, 1995; Super and Harkness, 1997). These processes are of particular importance with respect to immigrant families (Portes, 1996; Rumbaut, 1994; Waters, 1997; Zhou and Bankston III, 1998). There is also a growing appreciation for the ways in which children themselves are not simply passive recipients of cultural influences, but rather active agents who bring both the ability and the willingness to accept, modify, or resist those influences.
Current research on differences in childrearing beliefs and practices is directing increased attention toward the scripts that characterize the daily routines of children and their primary caregivers (Farver, 1993; Farver and Wimbarti, 1995; Farver et al., 1995; Greenfield and Suzuki, 1998; Weisner, 1999). These routines are imbued with expectations that are designed to establish a moral order within which the child is expected to adapt (Schieffelin and Ochs, 1986; Shweder et al., 1995). They also create learning environments that vary dramatically across different cultural settings and groups (Rogoff, 1990). In this context, parents and other important caregivers introduce children to both informal routines and formal institutions that reinforce their cultural values and goals. When confronted by outside influences that they perceive to be undermining these efforts, caregivers can become highly threatened.
Parent belief systems and modes of parent-child interaction provide some of the most important ways in which culture is embedded in the process of child rearing during the early years of life (Levine, 1989; Super and Harkness, 1986). A wide range of cultural practices are salient in this regard, ranging from those related to sleeping, crying, and breast-feeding to those that affect the way parents talk with their children, the way emotion is acknowledged and expressed, and the way a child is expected to respond to praise for an individual achievement (see Chapter 3, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7 for more detailed discussion). Inuit children are led, through adults ' repeated teasing, to learn not to display anger (Briggs, 1992). Gusii mothers seldom gaze into the eyes of their infants, and their children are discouraged from looking adults in the eye (which is seen as an act of disrespect), yet they readily establish secure attachments (Levine, 1990). The widely varying views about sleep arrangements are discussed in Chapter 5.
The ways in which parents talk with children have been portrayed as one of culture's most powerful symbol systems (Harwood et al., 1995; Schieffelin and Ochs, 1986). As we discussed in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6, ways of storytelling have emerged as a prime site for exploring the socialization of values (Goodnow, 1997). Parents encourage some forms of storytelling