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Developing DestiniesA Mayan Midwife and Town$
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Barbara Rogoff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.001.0001

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Living culture, across generations

Living culture, across generations

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 Living culture, across generations
Source:
Developing Destinies
Author(s):

Barbara Rogoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.003.0015

This chapter examines key concepts for understanding the role of culture in human development, with examples from the life of a Guatemalan Mayan midwife. Rather than equating culture with static categories of ethnicity and race, we can focus on cultural practices—how communities of people live. Cultural practices fit together in dynamic patterns, such as the shifting patterns of cultural practices central to US and Mayan childhoods across centuries. These patterns have many interrelated features, including family occupations, fertility and infant mortality, family size, children's contributions to family work, involvement in Western schooling and associated practices, and ways of helping children learn. A focus on people's participation in the practices of their communities reveals the role of culture in human development.

Keywords:   culture, ethnicity, categories, cultural practices, participation, membership

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