What Values and Traits Do Parents Teach to Their Children? New Data from 54 Countries

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Varna University of Management, Itim International, Bulgaria
  • | 2 MediaCom Ltd., UK / Singapore
  • | 3 Itim International, Finland
  • | 4 Sange Inc., Kazakhstan
  • | 5 AIRI Inc., Kazakhstan
  • | 6 ESAN Graduate School of Business, Peru
  • | 7 Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico, US
  • | 8 TEFL, Myanmar

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Abstract

There are few large-scale studies that compare how parents socialize children across the globe and the implications of the different types of socialization. To fill this gap, the authors used data from a new study across 52,300 probabilistically selected respondents from 54 countries. They were asked what advice they would give to their children to instill desirable values and traits in them. Aggregated to the national level, the responses yield two main dimensions of national culture. The first (collectivism-individualism) captures differences approximately along the South-North geographic axis of the Earth and is strongly correlated with differences in economic and gender inequality. The second (monumentalism-flexibility) captures cultural differences approximately on the West-East geographic axis of the world and is strongly associated with national differences in educational achievement. Thus, some of the most important national differences worldwide are strongly related to cultural differences in parental ideologies for the socialization of their children, suggesting that culture has objective societal outcomes.

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