OK, i'm going to have to come back to this later, but this old-school vs. new-school maps onto a sociolinguistic study done in England a while ago that i found fascinating. Basically, it contrasted disciplinarian, top-down familial styles and the children they produced with ones that were more communicative and peer-oriented.

Family 1:
Because I said so.*

Family 2:
carefully considered answer, leading to more questions and more answers.

Now, from what i remember, "old-school" children tended to have fewer problems with authority, fewer problems with identity, and less creativity along with a less questioning nature. They excelled in rigid environments where rules and roles were clear and unchanging, and gravitated toward systems with static heirarchies, wherever they ended up in that heirarchy.

"New-school" children were more linguistically inclined and analytical, tended to test better in tests of intelligence, tended to have identity problems and suffer from depression and anomie, and do better in jobs where the challenges required flexibility, interpersonal communication, creative thinking, and allowed them some degree of leeway as far as personal style.

These findings have been filtered through my memories and my own extrapolations at the time. I will have to find my notes and try to determine who did the study so i can verify this stuff. But i have found it a very interesting thing to observe, as i definitely came from the second type of household (the horizontal-structure one as opposed to the vertical-structure one) and i suspect a number of other noders did too.

It should be noted that as with any binary system for understanding social (or any human) phenomena, this is oversimplified and does not apply to anyone exactly.

*(Old-school families: yes, probably frequently using force to enforce and uphold the rigid power structure. This is a familial-structure thing. The study was a linguistic one but the implication is this kind of parent is ultimate power in the family and determines what truth is for the child, will brook no provocation or rebuttal. But this writeup was NOT A REPLY to the previous writeup and had nothing to do with corporal punishment of children.)

It comes down to either respecting authority because they're bigger than you or respecting authority because they deserve respect.

If you tell a kid why something is wrong than they will realize that they shouldn't do that thing and generally won't. If you just spank the kid, then s/he'll just try to do it without you knowing next time.

(Nice to see other people linking to Soft Linking to Offend. It shows that I'm not the only person against anonymous--or any other--personal attacks.)

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