Home Institution

Northwestern University

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Cameroon: Development and Social Change


This research examines the value of work in the Bamiléké context, and explores the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence the transmission of this value to children. Research questions explored included the perception of children within the Bamiléké family, the values that exist within the family and specifically the value of work within these families, how this value is transmitted to children, whether children are motivated to learn the value of work, and the impact of work on the personality development of a child. Data was collected through questionnaires, interview, and observation. 121 questionnaires were collected, and 9 interviews completed. Quantitative analysis was used for the questionnaire through a collection of descriptive analysis, and the interviews and observation notes were analyzed quantitatively. Responses were greatly variable, but it was found that children are considered first a gift from god and a source of wealth. Work, solidarity, and respect are all important values for the Bamiléké families. Parents are responsible for teaching this value to children, and due so mainly through informal means such as imitation and observation. Teachers also play a role in teaching this value. In general, it was agreed that the impact of work on mental, physical, social and cultural development is positive, though it is important to keep in mind that there are types of work inappropriate for children. It is possible to conclude that work is an essential part of the Bamiléké culture, and is always considered an important value to teach to their children.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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