HLTB02 EXAM NOTES including lecture notes and supplementary reading notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Jason Ramsay

HLTB02 Lecture Notes LECTURE 1 The Concept of Childhood May 07 2012 childhood as a cultural artifactunlike infancy childhood is a socialcultural artifactinfancy is a biologically driven event with a genetically timed durationchildhood is a different storyit can be longer or shorter depending upon several factors infancy genetically determined period of time childhoodculturally determined period of time the natural history of childhoodNeil postman The Disappearance of Childhood Greeks had no real world for child in the ancient worldthey did incent schooling but childrens lives were precarious Plato speaks of disciplining children trough threats and blows like a piece of warped wood Protagoraslittle concept of child as a category separate from adult in the Middle Ageswhat constitutes childhood as a conceptNeil Postman The Disappearance of Childhood the concept of SHAME defined culturally not individually children are defined as a class of people who must be sheltered from adult secrets specifically sexual secrets this connects to the general concept of children as a group that requires Special Protection from adults Roman Law ProtectionRome AD 374 Law forbidding infanticide exposure until then the practice was acceptable if the child was deformed female or in some other way undesirable often used as a form of retroactive birth control before the advent of orphanagesThe Middle Ages fall of the Roman Empire to the barbariansdecline in the concept of childhood Postman points out 4 points regarding the middle ages and the concept of the childliteracy disappearspedagogy method and practice of teaching declinesshame disappears replaced by guilt as a result of a hard Christian societychildhood disappears disappearance of literacyliteracy did not completely disappearsocial literacy ie conversation skills disappeared for 1000yearscraft literacy remained monks and noblemen scribes reading speed even among the literate diminished significantly re calligraphic fonts made letters opaque implications of illiteracyas a result all business affairs were conducted aurallyall social interactions were face to faceentertainment was aural minstrelsknowledge was acquired by earall was talk and song implications for childhood oral language develops much faster than written literacy childhood shtrank down to the early years if you could speak the Kings English you were an adultadult at age 7 in a literate world children must become adults through learning to read as there are mysteries and secrets implications illustrated by Brueghelno culture of shame separating adults from childrenCatholic church deemed age 7 to be when on can tell between right and wrongthe word child expressed kinship instead of ageno primary schoolsnot much of a concept of pedagogy as the Romans or Greeks hadpaints children as miniature adults what do the Breughel paintings showPostman argues that they showunwillingness to hide anything from childrenabsence of general civility notwithstanding that they were pious and religious did not have the same concept of private space as we do not repelled by human behaviour and odours not ashamed of bodily functions no evidence of toilet training for children medieval childhood sexualityno evidence that children were considered off limitsgirls were married off and pregnant at very young ages by todays standards no sense of sexual interference being wrong or immoral parenting in the middle ageshigh rate of infant mortalityparents did notcould not have the same level of emotional commitment as us th children not mentioned in wills until the 14 centuryThe Renaissance throughly the 1416 centuries advent of the printing press literate revolution across the world diminishing of feudal system rise of middle class and mercantile industries rise of machinery suddenly one has to spend some time learning whilst one matures in order to take part fully in human commerce but children were still viewed as miniadults onethird of children died in Renaissance but it was the normwhen Shakespeare s son died from the plague Shakespeare spoke out about his grief and incorporated his grief into his play King Johngild the lilyTechnology and Childhood how did technology change childhoodHarold Innis precursor to Marshall McLuhanInnis argued that there are two kinds of media time binding media written made to last space binding media oral now radio etc three effects of media and technologytechnologies alter the structure of interestsalter the structure of symbolsalter the nature of community McLuhan Olson and others have argued that the advent of print literacy changed the structure of our thoughtMcLuhan Modern man traded an ear for an eye Marshall McLuhan The Gutenberg GalaxyIf a new technology extends one or more of our senses outside us into the social world then new ratios among all of our senses will occur in that particular culture It is comparable to what happens when a new note is added to a melody And when the sense ratios alter in any culture then what had appeared lucid before may suddenly become opaque and what had been vague or opaque will become translucent David Olson The World on Paperto put simply writing has an impact on cognition through culture a culture of writingliteracy is a technology that fundamentally changes how people think what did we getbusiness no longer only oral and face to faceentertainment could be private the advent of pornographers ribald diarists satirists Rabelais sold more copies of Gargantua and Pantagruel in 10 years than the bible had ever sold to that point what developed to give rise to childhoodthe advent of private life and entertainmentthe advent of keeping a diarya sense that the individual transcended the groupa division between those who could read and those who could notknowledge became more organizedschooling was a necessityPostman Therefore childhood is a necessity a new science of childhood JJ Rousseau State of Nature and noble savage Children are best when they are kept pure and in their natural state away from the taint of society They are born with instincts that need to be preserved in order that they might lead a pure existence child as Tabula Rasadictated by John Locke children are born as tabula rasa blank slates and must be educated to be civilized or they will not survive Sigmund Freud Rousseau and Kant are both rightchildren are born without knowledge and some instincts but early childhood experience has a profound effect on their liveschildren are little devils and they must learn to balance their instincts with societys demand Jean Piagetchildren develop mental structures that allow them to cognize about the worldthey progress through stages of cognitive developmentchildren are little scientists and learn through a kind of folk scientific method childhood labourit can be argued that childhood as a North American Concept has only existed for 150 years th a childs birthday was not a cause for celebration until the 18 century
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