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Jenkins & Manion Summaries.docx

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1970
Professor
Krys Verrall
Semester
Fall

Description
Henry Jenkins The Innocent Child and Other Modern MythsTerm Philippe Aries1 Philippe Aries was a prominent historian whose research focused primarily on the concepts of childhood and family Aries contributions to the study and research of both childhood and the family system can be significantly noted in his book Centuries of Childhood In the beginning of Aries book he states that childhood in relation to our modern day understanding of it did not exist prior to the Middle Ages and that childhood was a phase of dependency that often held little importance Aries research focused on the social constructs of childhood and allowed further examination of this historical and social process which is illustrated in Henry Jenkins The Innocent Child and Other Modern Myths Aries statements on the historical context of childhood are quite significant in Jenkins article as it allows Jenkins to demonstrate that the concept of childhood and the innocent child is simply a myth As Aries argues within his text the idea of childish innocence can be viewed in two separate ways that adults and society equally attempt to safeguard childhood against the pollution of life and strengthen it by developing character and reason Jenkins argues that when considering Philippe Aries statements on both childhood the notion of the innocent child does not exist historically nor does is it exist presently because of the evident contradiction the experience of childhood is both equally preserved and neglected 2The Innocent Child The Innocent Child is essentially a myth when we consider the historical ideology of childhood and Philippe Aries assertions that the construct of childhood is both protected safeguarded and neglected illusion Childrens culture is shaped in various ways both on a social level through institutionssystems education gender economical and on an individual level through family and cultural practices It is through modern day practices and individualcultural lived experience that the idea of childhood innocence is seen as merely a myth 3In Jenkins reading the term represented is the historian Philippe Aries and the concept is the myth of the innocent child Aries is connected to the concept of the innocent child through his historical views on the idea of childhood and the myth of childish innocence Aries argues that there was little to no awareness of the particular nature and innocence of childhood Aries suggests that particular nature and innocence which distinguishes the child from the young adult is only a myth Between the ages of 5 and 7 once children were able to survive physically without constant adult supervision children were launched into adulthood and there simply wasnt a transitory period between infancy and adulthood 4The concept of the innocent child relates to the course argument which states that childhood is a cultural social historical construction that is shaped by various systems and institutions The innocent child is simply a myth according to this argument since every childhood can not be defined universally since children are affected on both a global education geography political and individual family cultural practices level
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