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CHYS 1F90 - Exam Notes

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Brock University
Child and Youth Studies
Rebecca Raby

CHYS 1F90 Concepts from before the Midterm -the three paradigms: modernism, critical theory, and social constructionism A) Modernism Link to positivism: E.g. when we study the stages of infant development, we believe that we can access the truth or reality of development -through culture and history Link to progress: - e.g. the idea that with a stronger grasp of child development we can ensure optimal development -science seen as a way to improve society Link to grand narratives: e.g. seeking to understand universal processes of childhood development across time and place -something about being a child that is unchanging; development the same everywhere Link to essentialism: age –things about development that are unchanging gender –children being inherently masculine or feminine; their essence ethnicity –we assume that someone can be categorized by their ethnicity dis/ability –someone’s disability being inherent in them rights –everyone has rights because it is inherent in humans B) Critical theory -Karl Marx saw that inequality was imbedded within capitalism The truth of inequality e.g. class, age... Schissel –hierarchies in society; talks a lot about youth and work Grand narratives: that there are broad-based patterns to inequality -the way you decide your economic base shapes everything else; such as how you view family, etc. Truth hidden via ideology How is it that people put up with laws and policies that support the rich getting richer? -we are all walking through a cloud of meritocracy individualizing; this cloud says that meritocracy is this fair system; people deserve what they get; work hard -> get rewarded -individualizing says that how much you succeed depends strictly on you Ideology masking social structure perpetuating inequality -set of beliefs that support whatever system of belief you have C) Social constructionism (links to postmodernism) Perspective and context: e.g. current truths around childhood (and other social categories) are really quite specific to here and now and are not always this way Deconstructing categories and binaries: (eg adult/child, boy/girl. white/black, ability/disability) –when we organize society into certain categories, we can limit people in what we think they are capable of Production of knowledge: e.g. our beliefs about childhood and youth produce the truth of childhood and youth –dominant thinking in a society that starts to be seen as truth turns into discourses Link to self: changing, on-going, embedded Discourses (both the concept and specific discourses) -a concept used to understand childhood as a social construct -discourse is a belief that influence our actions and shape how we see the world -discourse is linked to our cultural environment -some discourses of adulthood are mature/complete, independent, and responsible -some discourses of childhood are immature/becoming, dependent, and vulnerable Distinctions between childhood, adolescent, teenager and youth -child: anyone under 18 -youth: anyone between 12 and 34 (Canada) -Ontario: between 14 and 24 -World: between 15 and 21 -adolescence: -in the late 19 /early 20 century adolescence was a time to evolve into manhood -the concern of sexuality and young people began to be seen as a problem -the process of becoming an adult -the process of adolescence is coming to the process of knowing who you are -teenager: -after WW2 teens became associated with trouble -this was linked to consumption because they had more stuff, therefore more freedom -the goal of the parent is to allow the teen to break away and become an adult Sociology of childhood: children as social actors, as beings in the present, and socialization -the discourse of becoming focuses on development and socialization -the focus of many young people is what they will be, not what they are now -the discourse of beings in the present means that maybe we should focus on a more positive present for them Convention on the Rights of the Child: protection, provision, and participation rights -subsistence rights: right to life, food, basic needs -protection rights: protection from sexual abuse, exploitation -participation rights: rights to have a say in things that affect them Lecture Overviews Week 5: Children and Youth as Producers and Consumers -idealized childhood is complicated by processes of production (work) and consumption -there are diverse and culturally specific distinctions between what is considered acceptable and unacceptable work for children I/ Children and work -some kinds of work are acceptable for children; i.e. lemonade stand, paper route -some kinds of work are unacceptable; i.e. mining, factory work -work is educational when children can gain skills like learning to be punctual or responsible -domestic labour is labour within families; i.e. a family owned business -minimum ages for work differ from province to province -BC/Alberta: children can work at age 12 -Ontario: children can work at 16 -legislated minimum ages are set up to prevent young people from working excessive hours while at school; also to protect a child’s moral development -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; (b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education… [and] make them available and accessible to every child. -worst case labour; e.g. dangerous work like working with dangerous chemicals or exposure to tobacco; e.g. soldiering, some drawn for revenge or loyalty to their country -Article 38.2 States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities. -Article 38.3 States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces... -forcibly recruited; forced to kill someone close to them to numb them; are considered expendable -e.g. prostitution -Article 34: States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent: (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; (c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials. -forced into human trafficking to support themselves and their family -some valuable aspects of work can include skill development, but children’s becoming should be protected -in some cases bad situations can be made worse by intervention II/ Young people and work in Canada -service industry (i.e. severs in restaurants, retail) -part-time, temporary, and low paid; internships and placements -young adults are more likely to be injured than adults III/ Commodification of childhood -commodity refers to anything within a capitalist society that we buy and sell -children are commodities because they are investments IV/ Children as consumers -children have more buying power because they have more
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