Download PDF by B. Sorensen: Only-Child Experience and Adulthood

By B. Sorensen

ISBN-10: 0230582893

ISBN-13: 9780230582897

ISBN-10: 1051051061

ISBN-13: 9781051051067

ISBN-10: 1349355984

ISBN-13: 9781349355983

This publication examines only-child adventure in worldwide point of view and gives an perception into the dilemmas and challenges only-children face as adults. Explored from either a social and mental standpoint, it finds the complexity and multidimensional nature of the non-public and public worlds of the only-child.

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Through shame, culture shapes personality. (Kaufman, 1991, p. 29) Falbo and Polit (1986), Polit and Falbo (1987) and Newman (2001) emphasise aspects of the only-child experience which relate to Kaufman’s (1985) cultural scripts. As most of the only-child research has been conducted in the United States, this is an important insight for The Politics of the Only-Child 21 understanding the context of the only-child in American culture. In the following discussion, we are reminded that US culture prizes such behaviours as ‘high achievement’ and being a ‘little adult’.

This is the heart of social constructionism which endeavours The Research Framework 39 to deconstruct social reality, by acknowledging its place within an historical and cultural perspective. However, as McLeod states: Implicit in any form of qualitative enquiry is the realisation that, ultimately, we can never really know how the world is constructed. We can never achieve a complete ‘scientific’ understanding of the human world. The best we can do is to arrive at a truth that makes a difference that opens up new possibilities for understanding.

Spending large amounts of time in adult company was associated with ‘unusual maturity’ and the basis for close parental ties. Conversely many had problems in relating to peers, preferring older friends and partners, some said they were accused of speaking and behaving more like parents (2001, p. 134–5). Ageing parents. Ageing parents was the main concern for the young adults interviewed. They were also anxious about outliving their parents, and appeared ‘to feel a lack of lifespan continuity’. Some regretted they would never be an uncle or aunt, and many felt pressure from their parents to have grandchildren.

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Only-Child Experience and Adulthood by B. Sorensen

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