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These scenes, titled Fragment of a Prologue and Fragment of an Agon , were published together in as Sweeney Agonistes. Although Eliot noted that this was not intended to be a one-act play, it is sometimes performed as one. A pageant play by Eliot called The Rock was performed in for the benefit of churches in the Diocese of London. Much of it was a collaborative effort; Eliot accepted credit only for the authorship of one scene and the choruses.

Martin Browne for the production of The Rock , and later commissioned Eliot to write another play for the Canterbury Festival in This one, Murder in the Cathedral , concerning the death of the martyr, Thomas Becket , was more under Eliot's control. Eliot biographer Peter Ackroyd comments that "for [Eliot], Murder in the Cathedral and succeeding verse plays offered a double advantage; it allowed him to practice poetry but it also offered a convenient home for his religious sensibility. Regarding his method of playwriting, Eliot explained, "If I set out to write a play, I start by an act of choice.

I settle upon a particular emotional situation, out of which characters and a plot will emerge. And then lines of poetry may come into being: Eliot also made significant contributions to the field of literary criticism , strongly influencing the school of New Criticism. He was somewhat self-deprecating and minimising of his work and once said his criticism was merely a "by-product" of his "private poetry-workshop" But the critic William Empson once said, "I do not know for certain how much of my own mind [Eliot] invented, let alone how much of it is a reaction against him or indeed a consequence of misreading him.

Life is a Review: Observations and Collections of My Passages through The Times

He is a very penetrating influence, perhaps not unlike the east wind. In his critical essay " Tradition and the Individual Talent ", Eliot argues that art must be understood not in a vacuum, but in the context of previous pieces of art. Eliot himself employed this concept on many of his works, especially on his long-poem The Waste Land. Also important to New Criticism was the idea—as articulated in Eliot's essay " Hamlet and His Problems "—of an " objective correlative ", which posits a connection among the words of the text and events, states of mind, and experiences.

More generally, New Critics took a cue from Eliot in regard to his "'classical' ideals and his religious thought; his attention to the poetry and drama of the early seventeenth century; his deprecation of the Romantics, especially Shelley; his proposition that good poems constitute 'not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion'; and his insistence that 'poets Eliot's essays were a major factor in the revival of interest in the metaphysical poets. Eliot particularly praised the metaphysical poets' ability to show experience as both psychological and sensual, while at the same time infusing this portrayal with—in Eliot's view—wit and uniqueness.

Eliot's essay "The Metaphysical Poets", along with giving new significance and attention to metaphysical poetry, introduced his now well-known definition of "unified sensibility", which is considered by some to mean the same thing as the term "metaphysical".

His poem The Waste Land [81] also can be better understood in light of his work as a critic. He had argued that a poet must write "programmatic criticism", that is, a poet should write to advance his own interests rather than to advance "historical scholarship". Viewed from Eliot's critical lens, The Waste Land likely shows his personal despair about World War I rather than an objective historical understanding of it.

Late in his career, Eliot focused much of his creative energy on writing for the theatre; some of his earlier critical writing, in essays such as "Poetry and Drama," [83] "Hamlet and his Problems," [77] and "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama," [84] focused on the aesthetics of writing drama in verse.

Alfred Prufrock", "Portrait of a Lady", "La Figlia Che Piange", "Preludes", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" had "[an] effect [that] was both unique and compelling, and their assurance staggered [Eliot's] contemporaries who were privileged to read them in manuscript. The wholeness is there, from the very beginning. The initial critical response to Eliot's "The Waste Land" was mixed. Bush notes that the piece was at first correctly perceived as a work of jazz-like syncopation—and, like s jazz , essentially iconoclastic.

Edmund Wilson, being one of the critics who praised Eliot, called him "one of our only authentic poets". In regard to "The Waste Land", Wilson admits its flaws "its lack of structural unity" , but concluded, "I doubt whether there is a single other poem of equal length by a contemporary American which displays so high and so varied a mastery of English verse. Charles Powell was negative in his criticism of Eliot, calling his poems incomprehensible. For instance, though Ransom negatively criticised "The Waste Land" for its "extreme disconnection", Ransom was not completely condemnatory of Eliot's work and admitted that Eliot was a talented poet.

Addressing some of the common criticisms directed against "The Waste Land" at the time, Gilbert Seldes stated, "It seems at first sight remarkably disconnected and confused Eliot's reputation as a poet, as well as his influence in the academy, peaked following the publication of The Four Quartets. In an essay on Eliot published in , the writer Cynthia Ozick refers to this peak of influence from the s through the early s as "the Age of Eliot" when Eliot "seemed pure zenith, a colossus, nothing less than a permanent luminary, fixed in the firmament like the sun and the moon".

As Eliot's conservative religious and political convictions began to seem less congenial in the postwar world, other readers reacted with suspicion to his assertions of authority, obvious in Four Quartets and implicit in the earlier poetry. The result, fueled by intermittent rediscovery of Eliot's occasional anti-Semitic rhetoric, has been a progressive downward revision of his once towering reputation.

Bush also notes that Eliot's reputation "slipped" significantly further after his death. He writes, "Sometimes regarded as too academic William Carlos Williams 's view , Eliot was also frequently criticized for a deadening neoclassicism as he himself—perhaps just as unfairly—had criticized Milton. However, the multifarious tributes from practicing poets of many schools published during his centenary in was a strong indication of the intimidating continued presence of his poetic voice.

Although Eliot's poetry is not as influential as it once was, notable literary scholars, like Harold Bloom [92] and Stephen Greenblatt , [93] still acknowledge that Eliot's poetry is central to the literary English canon. For instance, the editors of The Norton Anthology of English Literature write, "There is no disagreement on [Eliot's] importance as one of the great renovators of the English poetry dialect, whose influence on a whole generation of poets, critics, and intellectuals generally was enormous.

The depiction of Jews in some of Eliot's poems has led several critics to accuse him of anti-Semitism. This case has been presented most forcefully in a study by Anthony Julius: Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form Bleistein with a Cigar". In this poem, Eliot wrote, "The rats are underneath the piles. It reaches out like a clear signal to the reader. In a series of lectures delivered at the University of Virginia in , published under the title After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy , Eliot wrote of societal tradition and coherence, "What is still more important [than cultural homogeneity] is unity of religious background, and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.

Craig Raine , in his books In Defence of T. Eliot and T. Eliot , sought to defend Eliot from the charge of anti-Semitism. Reviewing the book, Paul Dean stated that he was not convinced by Raine's argument. Nevertheless, he concluded, "Ultimately, as both Raine and, to do him justice, Julius insist, however much Eliot may have been compromised as a person, as we all are in our several ways, his greatness as a poet remains. Eliot's well-earned reputation [as a poet] is established beyond all doubt, and making him out to be as unflawed as the Archangel Gabriel does him no favours.

Eliot's influence extends beyond the English language. Below are a partial list of honours and awards received by T. Eliot or bestowed or created in his honour.

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These honours are displayed in order of precedence based on Eliot's nationality and rules of protocol, not awarding date. Retrieved 25 February From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other people named Thomas Eliot, see Thomas Eliot disambiguation. The Love Song of J. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Facsimile Edition Inventions of the March Hare: Eliot's Life and Career. John A Garraty and Mark C. Oxford University Press, Retrieved 26 April Nobel Lectures, Literature — Elsevier Publishing Company, , accessed 6 March The Modernist in History New York, , p.

Louis University Libraries, Inc. Literature and Language , no. Washington University Press, , p. The Art of Poetry No. Eliot and Alien Cultures: Eliot, The World Fair of St. Louis and "Autonomy" , Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan , pp. Eliot", American Literary Scholarship , , p. Eliot's Life and Career". Retrieved 1 December On the Significance of T. Eliot , Knopf Publishing Group, p. The Letters of T.

In Our Time (short story collection) - Wikipedia

Eliot, Volume 1, — Random House, , p. A Life of Vivienne Eliot. Knopf Publishing Group, , p. Retrieved 26 October Voices and Visions Series. New York Center of Visual History: Eliot to For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on style and order On Poetry and Poets. The Modernist in History , p. Where Emily Hale and Vivienne were part of Eliot's private phantasmagoria, Mary Trevelyan played her part in what was essentially a public friendship.

She was Eliot's escort for nearly twenty years until his second marriage in A brainy woman, with the bracing organizational energy of a Florence Nightingale, she propped the outer structure of Eliot's life, but for him she, too, represented.. Eliot, and Humanism , , p. For her their friendship was a commitment; for Eliot quite peripheral. His passion for immortality was so commanding that it allowed him to Eliot — A Twenty-first Century View , p.

Eliot's widow Valerie Eliot dies at 86". Associated Press via Yahoo News. Retrieved 12 November Books on Google Play T. The Critical Heritage, Volume 1. Retrieved 3 January Retrieved 23 November Woods, April 21, Harcourt Brace, , p. The Harvard Advocate Poems''. Retrieved 5 February ".

Retrieved 3 August Archived from the original PDF on 3 October Retrieved 7 November Eliot and Indic Traditions: A Study in Poetry and Belief". This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jul 09, Sarah E rated it liked it. I guess I sort of expected that all memoirs followed the cookie-cutter pattern of a first person narrative that smoothly, and chronologically followed the author's perception of their life.

As I started reading Life is a Review I quickly realized this was not to be the case, just as the summary had said Life is a Review contained mostly "articles, essays, blogs, poems, and speeches" with the occasional interlude of first person narrated self reflection. Stepping outside the box is not necessa I guess I sort of expected that all memoirs followed the cookie-cutter pattern of a first person narrative that smoothly, and chronologically followed the author's perception of their life. Stepping outside the box is not necessarily a bad thing and in the case of Life is a Review , Parker's decision to deviate from the cookie cutter memoir added some very postive aspects to the story.

I enjoyed reading many of the speeches, and life guidelines that were included in the collection, they were well written and I felt at times as if Parker herself was reading them to me. I thought that the continuity of the book could have been improved as, I found some of the transitions between the different articles, blog posts, and speeches were a bit bumpy. But despite this I thought Life is a Review was presentable. Kathy Pair rated it really liked it Nov 19, Jan added it Jul 02, Nandi Crawford is currently reading it Aug 18, Dawn marked it as to-read Sep 24, Leila Summers marked it as to-read Jan 04, Parker was born in the rural town of Waverly Virginia and has travelled many paths since then that have provided hard yet hearty lessons.

DeWALT and DeWALT add that it improves the quality of data collection and interpretation and facilitates the development of new research questions or hypotheses p. DeMUNCK and SOBO also share several disadvantages of using participation as a method, including that sometimes the researcher may not be interested in what happens out of the public eye and that one must rely on the use of key informants.

To alleviate this potential bias problem, BERNARD suggests pretesting informants or selecting participants who are culturally competent in the topic being studied. They note that the information collected by anthropologists is not representative of the culture, as much of the data collected by these researchers is observed based on the researcher's individual interest in a setting or behavior, rather than being representative of what actually happens in a culture. Such actions skew the description of cultural activities. To alleviate this problem, they advocate the use of systematic observation procedures to incorporate rigorous techniques for sampling and recording behavior that keep researchers from neglecting certain aspects of culture.

Their definition of structured observation directs who is observed, when and where they are observed, what is observed, and how the observations are recorded, providing a more quantitative observation than participant observation. Several researchers have noted the limitations involved with using observations as a tool for data collection. For example, DeWALT and DeWALT note that male and female researchers have access to different information, as they have access to different people, settings, and bodies of knowledge.

There are a number of things that affect whether the researcher is accepted in the community, including one's appearance, ethnicity, age, gender, and class, for example. Another factor they mention that may inhibit one's acceptance relates to what they call the structural characteristics—that is, those mores that exist in the community regarding interaction and behavior p. Some of the reasons they mention for a researcher's not being included in activities include a lack of trust, the community's discomfort with having an outsider there, potential danger to either the community or the researcher, and the community's lack of funds to further support the researcher in the research.

Some of the ways the researcher might be excluded include the community members' use of a language that is unfamiliar to the researcher, their changing from one language to another that is not understood by the researcher, their changing the subject when the researcher arrives, their refusal to answer certain questions, their moving away from the researcher to talk out of ear shot, or their failure to invite the researcher to social events.

The important thing, they note, is for the researcher to recognize what that exclusion means to the research process and that, after the researcher has been in the community for a while, the community is likely to have accepted the researcher to some degree. Another potential limitation they mention is that of researcher bias. They note that, unless ethnographers use other methods than just participant observation, there is likelihood that they will fail to report the negative aspects of the cultural members.

Researcher bias is one of the aspects of qualitative research that has led to the view that qualitative research is subjective, rather than objective. According to RATNER , some qualitative researchers believe that one cannot be both objective and subjective, while others believe that the two can coexist, that one's subjectivity can facilitate understanding the world of others.

BREUER and ROTH use a variety of methods for knowledge production, including, for example, positioning or various points of view, different frames of reference, such as special or temporal relativity, perceptual schemata based on experience, and interaction with the social context—understanding that any interaction changes the observed object. Using different approaches to data collection and observation, in particular, leads to richer understanding of the social context and the participants therein.

The quality of the participant observation depends upon the skill of the researcher to observe, document, and interpret what has been observed. It is important in the early stages of the research process for the researcher to make accurate observation field notes without imposing preconceived categories from the researcher's theoretical perspective, but allow them to emerge from the community under study see Section GOLD relates the four observation stances as follows:.

The disadvantages of this stance are that the researcher may lack objectivity, the group members may feel distrustful of the researcher when the research role is revealed, and the ethics of the situation are questionable, since the group members are being deceived.

In the participant as observer stance, the researcher is a member of the group being studied, and the group is aware of the research activity. This role also has disadvantages, in that there is a trade off between the depth of the data revealed to the researcher and the level of confidentiality provided to the group for the information they provide. The observer as participant stance enables the researcher to participate in the group activities as desired, yet the main role of the researcher in this stance is to collect data, and the group being studied is aware of the researcher's observation activities.

In this stance, the researcher is an observer who is not a member of the group and who is interested in participating as a means for conducting better observation and, hence, generating more complete understanding of the group's activities. The opposite extreme stance from the complete participant is the complete observer , in which the researcher is completely hidden from view while observing or when the researcher is in plain sight in a public setting, yet the public being studied is unaware of being observed.

In either case, the observation in this stance is unobtrusive and unknown to participants. Of these four stances, the role providing the most ethical approach to observation is that of the observer as participant, as the researcher's observation activities are known to the group being studied, yet the emphasis for the researcher is on collecting data, rather than participating in the activity being observed. MERRIAM suggests that the question is not whether the process of observing affects the situation or the participants, but how the researcher accounts for those effects in explaining the data.

Participant observation is more difficult than simply observing without participation in the activity of the setting, since it usually requires that the field notes be jotted down at a later time, after the activity has concluded. Yet there are situations in which participation is required for understanding. Simply observing without participating in the action may not lend itself to one's complete understanding of the activity. SPRADLEY describes the various roles that observers may take, ranging in degree of participation from non-participation activities are observed from outside the research setting to passive participation activities are observed in the setting but without participation in activities to moderate participation activities are observed in the setting with almost complete participation in activities to complete participation activities are observed in the setting with complete participation in the culture.

Those serving in a peripheral membership role observe in the setting but do not participate in activities, while active membership roles denote the researcher's participation in certain or all activities, and full membership is reflected by fully participating in the culture. Other factors that may affect the degree to which one may participate in the culture include the researcher's age, gender, class, and ethnicity.

One also must consider the limitations of participating in activities that are dangerous or illegal. MERRIAM suggests that the most important factor in determining what a researcher should observe is the researcher's purpose for conducting the study in the first place. Over time, such events may change, with the season, for example, so per sistent observation of activities or events that one has already observed may be necessary.

WOLCOTT suggests that fieldworkers ask themselves if they are making good use of the opportunity to learn what it is they want to know. He further advises that fieldworkers ask themselves if what they want to learn makes the best use of the opportunity presented. WHYTE notes that, while there is no one way that is best for conducting research using participant observation, the most effective work is done by researchers who view informants as collaborators; to do otherwise, he adds, is a waste of human resources. His emphasis is on the relationship between the researcher and informants as collaborative researchers who, through building solid relationships, improve the research process and improve the skills of the researcher to conduct research.

Conducting observations involves a variety of activities and considerations for the researcher, which include ethics, establishing rapport, selecting key informants, the processes for conducting observations, deciding what and when to observe, keeping field notes, and writing up one's findings.

In this section, these aspects of the research activities are discussed in more detail. A primary consideration in any research study is to conduct the research in an ethical manner, letting the community know that one's purpose for observing is to document their activities. While there may be instances where covert observation methods might be appropriate, these situations are few and are suspect. This means that one is constantly introducing oneself as a researcher.

Another ethical responsibility is to preserve the anonymity of the participants in the final write-up and in field notes to prevent their identification, should the field notes be subpoenaed for inspection. Individual identities must be described in ways that community members will not be able to identify the participants.

Several years ago, when I submitted an article for publication, one of the reviewers provided feedback that it would be helpful to the reader if I described the participants as, for example, "a 35 year old divorced mother of three, who worked at Wal-Mart. Instead, I only provided broad descriptions that lacked specific details, such as "a woman in her thirties who worked in the retail industry. It is typical for researchers who spend an extended period of time in a community to establish friendships or other relationships, some of which may extend over a lifetime; others are transient and extend only for the duration of the research study.

Particularly when conducting cross-cultural research, it is necessary to have an understanding of cultural norms that exist. They suggest that the researcher take a participatory approach to research by including community members in the research process, beginning with obtaining culturally appropriate permission to conduct research and ensuring that the research addresses issues of importance to the community.

They further suggest that the research findings be shared with the community to ensure accuracy of findings. In my own ongoing research projects with the Muscogee Creek people, I have maintained relationships with many of the people, including tribal leaders, tribal administrators, and council members, and have shared the findings with selected tribal members to check my findings. Further, I have given them copies of my work for their library. I, too, have found that, by taking a participatory approach to my research with them, I have been asked to participate in studies that they wish to have conducted.

Regarding entering the field, there are several activities that must be addressed. These include choosing a site, gaining permission, selecting key informants, and familiarizing oneself with the setting or culture BERNARD, In this process, one must choose a site that will facilitate easy access to the data. The objective is to collect data that will help answer the research questions.


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To assist in gaining permission from the community to conduct the study, the researcher may bring letters of introduction or other information that will ease entry, such as information about one's affiliation, funding sources, and planned length of time in the field. One may need to meet with the community leaders. For example, when one wishes to conduct research in a school, permission must be granted by the school principal and, possibly, by the district school superintendent. For research conducted in indigenous communities, it may be necessary to gain permission from the tribal leader or council.

One should use personal contacts to ease entry; these would include key informants who serve as gatekeepers, but BERNARD cautions against choosing a gatekeeper who represents one side of warring factions, as the researcher may be seen as affiliated with that faction. He also cautions that, when using highly placed individuals as gatekeepers, the researcher may be expected to serve as a spy. The "professional stranger handlers" are those people who take upon themselves the job of finding out what it is the researcher is after and how it may affect the members of the culture.

These key informants must be people who are respected by other cultural members and who are viewed to be neutral, to enable the researcher to meet informants in all of the various factions found in the culture. The researcher also should become familiar with the setting and social organization of the culture. This may involve mapping out the setting or developing social networks to help the researcher understand the situation. These activities also are useful for enabling the researcher to know what to observe and from whom to gather information.

DeMUNCK and SOBO state that, "only through hanging out do a majority of villagers get an opportunity to watch, meet, and get to know you outside your 'professional' role" p. This process of hanging out involves meeting and conversing with people to develop relationships over an extended period of time. There is more to participant observation than just hanging out.

It sometimes involves the researcher's working with and participating in everyday activities beside participants in their daily lives. It also involves taking field notes of observations and interpretations. Included in this fieldwork is persistent observation and intermittent questioning to gain clarification of meaning of activities. Rapport is built over time; it involves establishing a trusting relationship with the community, so that the cultural members feel secure in sharing sensitive information with the researcher to the extent that they feel assured that the information gathered and reported will be presented accurately and dependably.

Rapport-building involves active listening, showing respect and empathy, being truthful, and showing a commitment to the well-being of the community or individual. Rapport is also related to the issue of reciprocity, the giving back of something in return for their sharing their lives with the researcher. The researcher has the responsibility for giving something back, whether it is monetary remuneration, gifts or material goods, physical labor, time, or research results.

T. S. Eliot

Confidentiality is also a part of the reciprocal trust established with the community under study. They must be assured that they can share personal information without their identity being exposed to others. BERNARD states that "the most important thing you can do to stop being a freak is to speak the language of the people you're studying—and speak it well" , p. Fluency in the native language helps gain access to sensitive information and increases rapport with participants. Learn about local dialects, he suggests, but refrain from trying to mimic local pronunciations, which may be misinterpreted as ridicule.

Learning to speak the language shows that the researcher has a vested interest in the community, that the interest is not transient, and helps the researcher to understand the nuances of conversation, particularly what constitutes humor. As mentioned in the discussion of the limitations of observation, BERNARD suggests that gender affects one's ability to access certain information and how one views others. What is appropriate action in some cultures is dependent upon one's gender.

Gender can limit what one can ask, what one can observe, and what one can report. For example, several years after completing my doctoral dissertation with Muscogee Creek women about their perceptions of work, I returned for additional interviews with the women to gather specific information about more intimate aspects of their lives that had been touched on briefly in our previous conversations, but which were not reported.

During these interviews, they shared with me their stories about how they learned about intimacy when they were growing up. Because the conversations dealt with sexual content, which, in their culture, was referred to more delicately as intimacy, I was unable to report my findings, as, to do so, would have been inappropriate. One does not discuss such topics in mixed company, so my writing about this subject might have endangered my reputation in the community or possibly inhibited my continued relationship with community members.

I was forced to choose between publishing the findings, which would have benefited my academic career, and retaining my reputation within the Creek community. I chose to maintain a relationship with the Creek people, so I did not publish any of the findings from that study. I also was told by the funding source that I should not request additional funds for research, if the results would not be publishable.

Exactly how does one go about conducting observation? The second type, focused observation , emphasizes observation supported by interviews, in which the participants' insights guide the researcher's decisions about what to observe. Other researchers have taken a different approach to explaining how to conduct observations.

The first of these elements includes the physical environment. This involves observing the surroundings of the setting and providing a written description of the context. Next, she describes the participants in detail. Then she records the activities and interactions that occur in the setting. In her book, MERRIAM adds such elements as observing the conversation in terms of content, who speaks to whom, who listens, silences, the researcher's own behavior and how that role affects those one is observing, and what one says or thinks.

To conduct participant observation, one must live in the context to facilitate prolonged engagement ; prolonged engagement is one of the activities listed by LINCOLN and GUBA to establish trustworthiness. Living in the culture enables one to learn the language and participate in everyday activities. Through these activities, the researcher has access to community members who can explain the meaning that such activities hold for them as individuals and can use conversations to elicit data in lieu of more formal interviews.

When I was preparing to conduct my ethnographic study with the Muscogee Creek women of Oklahoma, my professor, Valerie FENNELL, told me that I should take the attitude of "treat me like a little child who knows nothing," so that my informants would teach me what I needed to know about the culture. I found this attitude to be very helpful in establishing rapport, in getting the community members to explain things they thought I should know, and in inviting me to observe activities that they felt were important for my understanding of their culture.

DeWALT and DeWALT support the view of the ethnographer as an apprentice, taking the stance of a child in need of teaching about the cultural mores as a means for enculturation.