I drafted this post in 2012 and somehow never got around to posting it. This is a really interesting study into middle-class life in the USA. Margaret Mead (the most amazing Anthropologist ever, in my opinion) was the pioneer of this form of cross-cultural kinship study with a focus on identifying the ideologies of motherhood and parenthood. I love the interdisciplinary approach to this study:
How kids develop moral responsibility is an area of focus for the researchers. Dr. Ochs, who began her career in far-off regions of the world studying the concept of “baby talk,” noticed that American children seemed relatively helpless compared with those in other cultures she and colleagues had observed.
You can read more about the study here.
And check out the one of the pioneering ethnographic films on this subject here (did I mention that Mead is amazing?).