Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How To...

Hello again.
Today's lecture got me thinking about sociocultural competencies in regard to my topic. I found this article in the Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence. It highlights some of the reasons children tend to be more accepted by their peers. The section focuses more on peer acceptance than popularity, but I thought it was quite good.

Ive pasted section from the article which I found interesting:

Factors such as physical attractiveness, cultural traits, and disabilities affect the level of peer acceptance, with a child's degree of social competence being the best predictor of peer acceptance. Children who are peer-accepted or popular have fewer problems in middle and high school, and teens who are peer-accepted have fewer emotional and social adjustment problems as adults. Peer-accepted children may be shy or assertive, but they often have well-developed communication skills. Peer-accepted children tend to:

  • Correctly interpret other children's body language and tone of voice. Well-liked children can distinguish subtleties in emotions. For example, they can distinguish between anger directed toward them versus toward a parent.
  • Directly respond to the statements and gestures of other children. Well-liked children will say other children's names, establish eye contact, and use touch to get attention.
  • Give reasons for their own statements and gestures (actions). For example, well-liked children will explain why they want to do something the other child does not want to do.
  • Cooperate with, show tact towards, and compromise with other children, demonstrating the willingness to subordinate the self by modifying behavior and opinions in the interests of others. For example, when joining a new group where a conversation is already in progress, well-liked children will listen first, establishing a tentative presence in the group before speaking (even if it is to change the subject).

This highlights how sociocultural competencies effect peer acceptance at school. Groups within schools create a "Cultural Map" indicating how one should act in certain situations, how we should dress, and how we should view others. They define what is culturally acceptable (or 'cool' enough) with in their school culture. If we stray from this map the consequence my result in not being accepted.

I found a lot of the things outlined in the article pretty obvious reasons to why children are more accepted. However, for some people (i.e those from another culture) might not find these social directions or rules as obvious.

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