Week 8: Contexts of Development: Exploring Cultural Influences

After reading Matta’s book, create a brochure that could be placed in a school setting and used by parents and educators to reflect on gender roles and socialization. In your brochure, provide content on how the various types of masculinities (black working class, white working class and Amish) compare with men in the context of your own life experience? Make sure to address the following:

  1. Contrast their (black working class, white working class and Amish) gender socialization from that of what you have experienced, witnessed or heard described in the predominant culture.
  2. Provide suggestions on how to relate to the different masculine and feminine definitions parents and educators might encounter.
  3. Provide a suggestion on how to approach a particular case with a gender definition that might present a challenge.

Length: 4-5 pages

This week, you will explore a variety of cultural and diversity issues that directly influence individual and family development. While reading the assigned materials reflect on how the psychological internal world is shaped by culture and environmental context. Notice that Matta (1996) identifies various processes of hardening or toughening boys becoming men, normed in each subculture. For example, how does “playing the dozens,” “practical jokes,” and “tirades” work to set certain cultural norms and ultimately norms particular societal expectations? You are also encouraged to relate the theory presented in Matta’s book to other existing theories as well as other developmental concepts from classic or systemic theories discussed during this course. For instance, feminist theorists have argued that for any theory of masculinity to have merit, it must include “some explanation of patriarchy, which includes power, dominance, subordination of women and violence” (Matta, p. 258). With that in mind, what do you see as the model’s relative strengths and weaknesses? In addition, be sure to explore the concept of “mystery of masculinity” and reflect how this concept will be helpful during your future work as an MFT. Finally, reflect on your own personal, cultural, and diversity context as it relates to your own gender, ethnicity, and SES status.





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