Bringing up good babies : an ethnography of moral apprenticeship in Saraguro

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Jenson, Jennifer J.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Anthropology, 2011
This thesis is based on an ethnographic investigation of indigenous childrearing theories of the Saraguros of southern Ecuador, with particular emphasis on the effect they believe their childrearing practices to have on infants’ and toddlers’ moral apprenticeship. To understand this learning process, I focused on children from newborn to age three and their caregivers, using everyday decisions involving babywearing and sleep practices as a window onto the ways apprenticeship is practiced among Saraguros and their particular moral standards. The moral apprenticeship of Saraguro babies is therefore considered as a product of local learning styles, constructions of childhood, and infant care practices, which create cultural self-fulfilling prophecies regarding young children’s development and capabilities. Their experiential learning system is being challenged by national children’s rights programs, which are informed by universalized visions of proper childhoods, rendering early childhood in Saraguro an interesting site from which to view the process of cultural change.
ix, 211 leaves ; 29 cm
Child rearing -- Ecuador , Parenting -- Ecuador , Child rearing -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Ecuador , Moral development -- Ecuador , Saraguro (Ecuador) , Dissertations, Academic