Mediation and the nature of cognitive socialization in the crèche and the home in a black rural context

Van der Riet, Mary Boudine (1993) Mediation and the nature of cognitive socialization in the crèche and the home in a black rural context. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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This thesis examines socialization in the homes and crèches of a rural area in a time of change. Change which is controlled and initiated from outside the local context, creates a dilemma for socialization agents when it introduces a knowledge paradigm different from that operating locally. Rural South African communities frequently experience exogenous change. The introduction of rural preschools, locally known as crèches, provides one example of such change challenging local socialization agents. While rural residents may not operate within knowledge paradigms to deal effectively with such change, they are not necessarily defeated by it. They "grapple" with the uncertainty, developing ways of coping and containing the change. This forms the focus of this thesis. Vygotsky's concept of mediation and conceptualization of the individual/society relationship, informs the examination of "grappling" with change. Two central questions are addressed: In an unfamiliar situation, what is mediated and what resources are drawn on? The research was designed around the recognition of the process nature of research, the constructivism inherent in research and the significance of the social context. Two central mediators, the mother and the crèche teacher, and the broader social context of the home and the creche, were examined. Three levels of investigation were utilised. An analysis of mediation in dyads working on an unfamiliar task provided insight into the social/psychological dynamics. Interviews with residents highlighted socialization beliefs and practices and the social context. Analysis of verses and stories taught to children revealed the inherent ideology of socialization. The main findings of this study are that: Rural residents "grapple" with social change by drawing on their own resources; in "grappling" with the unfamiliar what is mediated is an adult/child interactional status based on the inherent ideology of socialization and the dominant resource drawn on is the "culture of orality". It is argued that in the situation of neither mastery nor defeat, rural residents have used intermediary strategies of coping and containing the effect of the preschool as an agent of exogenous, social change. Recommendations are made for integrating "socialized" and "learned" knowledge from the home and the crèche.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Socialization, Day care centers, South Africa, Ciskei, Social change
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
Supervisors:Gilbert, A.J.
ID Code:3793
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 12:07
Last Modified:24 Oct 2012 12:07
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