This study aims at understanding the parental socialization practices, behaviors and beliefs for their child's emotional and social development, as a result of being situated in the urban slums of Mumbai. As an ethnographic study, the objectives of understanding the context and its influence on the parental socialization behavior have been carried out using 'spot observations' and formal/informal interviews. Data triangulation and thematic analysis proceeded simultaneously. There was an influence of the contextual factors like financial helplessness, lack of security, crowding, lack of family planning, no sanitation and lack of other resources, in addition to environmental risks and vulnerabilities on the parental behavior and belief systems. This influence reflected through behavioral responses of the parents/caregivers in the interactions, whih were also rationalized as their learned helplessness and little control over situations and practices for the desired behavioral outcomes from the child. Issues like enmeshed social boundaries, overcrowding, heightened emotionality of the caregiver and lack of understanding of the child's perspective had implications for child care behaviors. This reflects disengagement between the parent and child, other than fulfillment of basic physiological needs. Usual methods specifically operant, observational and cognitive (via cognitive beliefs) were used for socialization. Children were socialized to understand the other's emotionality, while little emphasis was on the child's emotionality. This led to a suppressed yet socially appropriate behavioral expectation. Early gendered apprenticeship for household chores directed to the girl child was also observed. Interventions for empowerment of self and understanding parenting behavior is much needed.
Kannupriya Kamboj, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Rajani Konantambigi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Stream: Community Development
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