The article summarizes the publication about Judith Rich Harris theory, according to which peers mean more to children than parents in terms of personal growth and development. This theory was a real shock for parents who were overprotective of their children. Harris argued, albeit very cautiously, that parents are mistaken in thinking that they significantly contribute to the formation of the child’s character (Gladwell). She claims that this belief is a “cultural myth” that is considerably inclined into social consciousness. Harris argued that parental influence (from top to bottom) is almost completely absorbed by peer influence (from right and left). After all, every day, a child experiences direct and rude pressure from their friends and classmates.
It seems reasonable to say that the presented article indeed provides crucial points of the theory making the reader get acquainted with it, as well as with the main publication. The latter is also produced by Malcolm Gladwell; hence, the article’s content sheds light on the theme from the appropriate perspective. The author has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996 and has a number of publications in the field that prove his credibility.
From my point of view, Harris’s theory contains several reliable and rational points. Among these are the fact that children’s peers have a vast influence on them and that this factor cannot be excluded within the scope of the related studies and investigations. However, I would note that the mentioned influence is relative – it depends on the extent to which a child is involved in social relationships and how warm and proper family relations are. If this child admires their parents and spends most of the time in a family circle, peers have less impact on their character.
Gladwell, Malcolm. “Do Parents Matter?” The New Yorker, 1998. Web.