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Lecture 4

SDS353R Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Feudalism


Department
Social Development Studies
Course Code
SDS353R
Professor
Geoff Malleck
Lecture
4

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[ LECTURE 4 ] HISTORY OF THE CONCEPT OF CHILDHOOD
Humans are far slower to develop to independent maturity than any other species
- also aar of cultural socialization that is needed first
Universal f’n of family: socialization of children
- particularly nurturance socialization
Based on anthropological studies, children seem to have been treated well in past
Many laws/civilization based around children
i.e. how to protect them, who is in charge of them
Two streams of childhood:
1.) continuity in child-rearing practices
2.) change in child-rearing practices
Ancient times
Status of primitive man’s child is like that of a bear’s cub, there is neither moral obligation/restraint but
there resists unchecked power to foster/desert/destroy as anger moves
Morals and practical skills taught
Amnt of moral training in primitive home depends largely on degree of group customs that have become
fixed/accustomed
Edu’ took on form of training
Practical training usually imitative w/ little instruction from elders
Book of Exodus: Whoever hits his father/mother must be put to death
Father had ultimate pwr; he could:
- punish/banish child
- order child to be put to death
- decide marriage
- divorce children even against their will
- early Roman period prior 200 BCE, all earnings of children had to be handed over to father/patriarch
Selling children into slavery common
Paradoxical: Parents also shown to be deeply concerned about their children, as indicated on grave
markings
Economy poorly productive and strained to support huge educational establishment, (TF) ancients adopted
strategy to rear few children but invested heavily on their training
- applied to present time as well
Paradoxical respect to children shown in lack of child’s status through infanticide
2 sons are not uncommon, 3 sons now and then, but more than 1 daughter was practically never reared
Until 374 BCE, when law passed in Rome, infanticide not found wrong as it was seen as pop’n ctrl
Twins often abandoned
- sometimes one not seen as the father’s child but of another man’s
Child sacrifices
- Plutarch: children sacrificed, and for those w/o children, bought from poor mothers who could not cry
or show remorse else they give up the money received and child is sacrificed nonetheless
Parents seem to value children primarily for services they could provide
Medieval Period
Abandonment mode of child-parent relations
Even opposition by church based more on parent’s soul than child’s life, beginning acceptance that child
had soul
Dark ages: known civilization died; Romans overpowered by Germanic tribes (no sys of edu and no literary
culture (TF) invested little in their offspring; they grew up in benign neglect)
- during early MA (5th-10th c), little learning and culture occurred (only little survived in some
monasteries and palaces); many arts and craftsmanship disappeared; commerce and culture declined;
Feudalism dvlp’d
- during late/high MA (11th c.), economy did expand again
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