Chinese Mothers’ Reflections on Value Systems and Social Norms Enacted in Fairy Tales: A Cultural Narrative Analysis

Keywords: fairy tales, child, educational methods, narratives, Chinese mothers, cultural values, China


This study examined Chinese mothers’ views on children’s education in China and aimed to identify potential culturally specific perspectives and individual trends. Nine mothers from Beijing were asked to express, in the form of a narrative, their views on the stories that their children watched and read. The interviewees were also asked to assess the delivery, content, values, ideals and model behaviours that characterise Chinese and Western stories for children. The mothers also explained how the aspects of the stories that their children watch and read fit their own expectations and parenting strategies. The data gathered in the study allowed the Authors to create a list of Chinese and Western stories that Chinese children are in contact with, learn what values and model behaviours are expressed in those stories according to the children’s mothers, and how these mothers assess the values and model behaviours in the context of their own parental goals. Using exploratory factor analysis, the authors identified a number of categories that the Chinese mothers evoked. They discuss the cultural dimensions that characterise the Chinese mothers’ perspectives of Chinese and Western stories for children. 


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