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Feb 9, 2012
Week 5: Children and youth as producers and consumers
Main points
-Processes of production and consumption complicate idealized childhood
-There are diverse and culturally specific distinctions between what is considered acceptable
and unacceptable work for children
-Childhood itself is commoditized
I/ Children and work
What are some examples of work that young people do that you feel okay about?
Babysitting, newspapers, tutoring, dog walking, car washing, etc.
What are some examples that you feel uncomfortable with?
Sweatshops, construction,
mining, factory, cooks, etc.
A) Childhood outside market relations - review
Public/private spheres
Innocent childhood
Other discourses of childhood
B)‘Acceptable’ child work?
As training... learning through trainingwork ethic, responsibility, money use, etc.
-Link to rite of passage
-Link to becoming: When is work educational and when is it exploitative?
As vital contribution...
-Domestic labour (farming families, etc.)
-Labour within families (families that own a corner store, farm, business, etc.)
-Paid work (for some families, this is vital in contributing to the family)
-Child as being? Not just what they will become or how they will develop later, but that right
here in the moment they are making vital decisions and acting out in society.
C) Exploitation?
Link to innocence, protection and becoming
1. Legislated provincially
By age - where its considered acceptable for children to work
Education - qualifications
Conditions – certain kinds of work are more dangerous
Protection of development – children should not be exposed to certain things in work that
effects their ‘innocence’
2) Within UN CRC
Article 32.1 States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic
exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with
the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral
or social development.
Article 28: Right to education
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
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