Where Is The Child 's Environment? A Group Socialization Theory Of Development

1540 Words Nov 5th, 2015 7 Pages
In the essay “Where is the Child’s Environment? A Group Socialization Theory of Development,” Judith Rich Harris examines the possibility “that parental behavior has no effect on” the development of a child and she also examines the theory “that the only effective aspects of parenting must vary greatly from one child to another” (Harris, 428). In her analysis, she introduces arguments regarding the biological siblings and adoptive siblings and she compares their personality, or characteristic patterns of behavior, to each other, reaching the conclusion that adoptive siblings have no resemblance to each other and biological siblings bear minimal resemblance. Harris then continues to search for what aspect of life has the most significant impact on the growth of a child, and eventually concludes that the society, a social institution outside of the home that has large sets of norms and regulations that are larger than the family dynamic, serves this purpose.
The conclusion that Harris arrives at when she studies who has the most influence, or “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone,” on a child is that “parental behaviors have no effect on the psychological characteristics” of children as they grow older. She also believes that “learning is highly context-specific,” and depends more on the surroundings of a child (society) rather than what is taught by parents (Harris 428). While Harris presents numerous facts to support her…

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