The direction of a developing mind into certain channels of thinking or acting, by direct or inadvertant means, when the mind is still at the beginning phases of learning, and defenseless against the concepts thrust upon it. Canalization occurs in every culture, although some cultures or groups attempt to actively influence the thinking of their children more than others.

Canalization is one of the things that shapes your basic views early in life, and persists as you grow older. Overcoming preconceptions and and reconsidering fundamental ideas imposed by canalization can be challenging indeed, in that it's difficult to pick out small discrepancies in a cultural make-up of which you are a part, like trying to examine a pair of binoculars through the eyepieces.

Ethnologists also face the problems posed by canalization when they study a different culture, because they must attempt to view that culture with purely objective eyes, untainted by their own canalized viewpoint, suppressing or recognizing lines of thought which may be so deeply ingrained as to occur entirely in the subconscious.

Ca*nal`i*za"tion (?), n.

Construction of, or furnishing with, a canal or canals.



© Webster 1913.

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