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Lecture 4

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Social Development Studies
SDS 353R
Geoff Malleck

[ 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, infant
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