Cultural Learning Among Pastoralist Children

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. 57(1) Sage Journals Published In Pages: 74-110
By Bira, Temechegn G., Hewlett, Barry S.


This paper examines patterns of cultural learning in pastoralist societies and compares them to those found in hunter-gatherer societies. The study analyzed 198 texts from 13 pastoralist cultures in the eHRAF World Cultures database and found that most cultural skills and knowledge were acquired in early childhood, with parents and non-parental adults as the primary sources of transmission. Teaching was the most common form of learning across all age groups, with minimal variation in transmission between different age groups. While similarities were found between the cultural learning patterns of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, pastoralists were less likely to mention learning from peers and more likely to mention learning via local enhancement and stimulus enhancement. The importance of teaching did not increase with age in pastoralist societies, unlike in hunter-gatherer societies.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
eHRAF World CulturesResearchers' ownCoded 151 paragraphs from 13 societies for the domains of teaching, modes of transmission, and processes of cultural learning

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jacob.kalodner