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Is coercive parenting practiced by African cultures the reason for the lack of innovative African youth?

i am an African and i am currently living in the U.S.A and so far what i find most moving and inspiring is the innovative spirit which the American youth have. .Every time i ask someone what they want to do with their lives i get interesting answers about these different profession where as back home all i hear is the same old things such as accountant, lawyer, teacher etc.i did some research as to why this is so and the one sticking point i found was the difference in the parenting style.i is the coercive parenting style practiced in many African homes the reason for the lack of innovation in Africa and the reason for the slow economic growth experienced by many African countries ?


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  • Sep 8 2013: I think you are right. We Africans have been unable to get out of the same old stereotype, of go to school, become a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, an engineer. Our upbringing has been one that you grow up to be employed, make some money, help someone back home. I think we should change that culture, bring up our kids in a way that they are able to think independently and come up with innovations. We need to change our parenting style.
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      Sep 8 2013: Felix,
      It is very similar here in California in my experience. A majority of my university class are pre-med and business majors. Very cookie-cutter like choices.
      Although when you speak to them they aren't as content as they seem. Most admit that social pressures geared them toward it, others see professional degrees as the only road to success even when they have a passion for art or writing. Economic and social pressures play a huge role in at least perceived innovation. Most students are intrinsically creative but have had that drilled out of them.
      My parents were supportive of me studying philosophy and wanting to go into academia, for example, but both my peers and extended family had the all too familiar condescending concern of "How are you going to make money doing that."
      This is a widespread cultural issue. Not only an ethnic one. A problem of the culture of globalization and monetary assessments of value. It's no longer "How great was your education and how has it impacted your identity and how you can contribute to society" but "How much did your degree cost and how much will it pay back. :
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        Sep 9 2013: Could I ask which university you attend, or in roughly which part of California?
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          Sep 9 2013: As of now I'm attending the University of La Verne.
          Why do you ask?
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        Sep 9 2013: I asked because people usually have a much more distinct feel for the culture of the school with which they are affiliated than with other schools or with schools in general. Not all schools have very similar cultures, even in the same country or state.

        I am aware of having a pretty current view of some schools, or some kinds of schools, and very little information about others. So when someone offers a snap shot of his school, I think it broadens my perspective to know which it is or which type it is.
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          Sep 9 2013: Very true. It seems that the generalization I made applies to most public institutions, correct me if i'm wrong. This is not to argue that there aren't tons of humanities students at public schools

          As for private institutions, though, each does have much more of a range of personalities. Liberal Arts schools, from what I've seen, have much less of a cookie-cutter culture. A school like Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California or The Claremont Colleges tend to emphasize that "quirks" and "idiosyncratic" traits among the masses of picture-perfect students on paper hold much more sway. The aforementioned words being directly on their essay prompts for high school admissions.

          I'm not sure that this hurts my claim, though. Couldn't it be argued that demographic tendencies reflect not the college culture in itself, but the types of students likely to apply and be accepted? We have this type of cultivation of culture in other institutions as well.

          There are probably very few profession-minded students applying to Swarthmore or Reed College for example, and the aggregation of these types of students creates a more individualized and humanistic cultural climate in contrast with general student populations at very large or very un-specialized institutions.
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        Sep 9 2013: You go to one small private institution. I think it would take some evidence gathering for you to be able to draw reliable conclusions about schools other than your own, or types of schools other than your own.
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          Sep 9 2013: My school happens to fall under the generalized category I was speaking about.. about 50% business majors and 15 % bio pre med. If anything I'm biased against my own school, I'm planning on transferring In the spring

          I also presented you with 4 liberal arts examples which are pretty much generalizations for all liberal arts schools. I don't know of one liberal arts school that has predominantly business majors. The reason I'm using business as an example is because the original poster wondered about the trend for professional careers rather than creative ones.

          As for data on public institutions, you don't have to look very far for the percentage of students by major.
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      Sep 8 2013: I'm also weary of the impact social responsibility roles within specific cultures.. and this is just incredibly unfortunate..I have friends who sacrificed their high school education because of a perceived obligation to pay for his families bills.. went into the workforce indefinitely. A 4.0 student as a high school junior amd who loved physics.

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