Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

The cultural meanings and practices of socialization in new and old democracies: A comparative study of Sweden and Estonia

Ämne: Psykologi, lingvistik
Projektledare: Tiia Tulviste
Startår: 2005
Projekttyp: Projekt

The project’s main aim is to compare the meanings and practices of family and peer socialization in Estonia – a country with rapid ongoing social transformations to those in Sweden – a country with a long history of democracy and welfare.

In our previous comparative projects, we found the Estonian parents’ socialization style considerably more hierarchical and less democratic (talking less, smaller emphasis on children’s verbalization, and stressing the need to control their children’s behavior) than the Swedish mothers’ socialization style. The similar pattern was found to be typical of peer socialization. Although no cultural differences were found in the amount of peer talk, Estonian children talked more for the purpose to regulate other’s behavior than the Swedish children. In the current project, we examine the culture-specific meanings attached to concepts connected with socialization styles (strict control, talkativeness, etc.), and its potential consequences. Namely, the study investigates how maternal talkativeness and conversational style are related to child language and social development.