Talking to infants: how culture is instantiated in early mother-infant interactions. The case of Cameroonian farming Nso and North German middle-class families

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Titel: Talking to infants: how culture is instantiated in early mother-infant interactions. The case of Cameroonian farming Nso and North German middle-class families
Autor(en): Demuth, Carolin
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Heidi Keller
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kriz
Zusammenfassung: This study is interested in investigating discursive practices in early mother-infant interactions in diverse cultural settings and relating them to prevalent cultural models of child care. It examines mother-infant interactions from two cultural contexts previously described as prototypically independent (German white middle class families in the city of Muenster) and interdependent (farming Nso families in the Western Grassfields of Cameroon). The data corpus consists of video material and transcriptions of 20 Nso and 20 Muenster mother-infant dyads at the infant s age of 12 weeks. The data are analyzed using strategies from discourse analysis, conversation analysis and documentary method. Systematically different patterns of co-constructing mother-infant interactions were found: whereas the Münster mother-infant interactions comprise (1) co-operative, (2) narrative-biographical, (3) individual-centered repertoires, the Nso interactions are characterized by (1) hierarchical, (2) rhythmic synchronous, (3) socially oriented discursive strategies. The results point to the possibility of innate characteristics of protoconversation as well as culture-specific manifestations of their phenotype. The results are discussed with regard to the specificities of the relevant local socio-cultural contexts and possible implications for the development of culture-specific world views and self-construals. The thesis concludes by arguing that infants narrative envelope is a powerful medium to transmit cultural knowledge, even in interactions with pre-verbal infants. Main implications of the study s findings for theory and practice are discussed. It is suggested that what is healthy and pathological development needs to be (re-)defined for each specific cultural context. Further studies from socio-cultural contexts that have so far been neglected in academic research are needed that systematically relate infant-care practices with cultural models of child care.
Schlagworte: Cultural Models; Mother-infant interaction; Autonomy; Relatedness; Protoconversation; Africa; Germany; Discourse Analysis
Erscheinungsdatum: 4-Mär-2009
Publikationstyp: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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