chapter  2.3
14 Pages

How infants strive to know their culture

BySandra Smidt

This chapter explores how through the companionship of others, the baby begins to learn her culture and her language. Children learn social behaviours and language itself in a 'zone of proximal development' where their attempts to know the world are supported by the responses that more experienced or older people make. So socialisation or cultural learning is as natural, as innate for the human brain as is walking, feeling, seeing and breathing with human limbs and senses. Between four to six months the baby will take notice of objects that are close by, easily visible and in a place where she can follow what is happening by changing the direction of her gaze. A safe attachment between the baby and the mother or other caregiver fosters the baby's well-being and her basic confidence and pride in future relationships, while an unsafe attachment is related to increased anxiety and persistent shame.