The Key Social Problem Of Dorothy Lee Essay

769 Words Oct 12th, 2015 4 Pages
In this chapter, the key social problem Dorothy Lee is addressing to us is the conflict that is seen between personal autonomy and social structure. Lee looks at different societies, like the Wintu Indians of California, The Sikhs and the Navaho Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, and shows “how the principle of personal autonomy is supported by the cultural framework.”(Lee,5). She shows how this conflict has been solved within these societies. All three of those societies have different ways in child rearing (and because of this we will see how) and will show how each child’s personal autonomy is shaped by the societies they grow up in. This will show us how society does have an effect on our personal autonomy and how their societies are the key to fixing the social problem.

Let’s begin with, The Wintu Indians of California. When a child from that society asks “can I?”, they are not asking if you will let them do something, they are asking if it is okay to do so according to the rules of structure. “These people do not give freedom to their children, because it is not theirs to give” (Lee). A child’s freedom is not our own, so we cannot provide them or give them freedom. They are in charge of their own freedom because it is theirs and no one else’s. In the Wintu society you will also see how a child’s actions are not controlled by anyone. The parent will be there to provide them with food when hungry, and put them to bed when they’re tired, but the parent will never act…

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