Chapter 3 - Book 2

selinaward
Flashcards by selinaward, updated more than 1 year ago
selinaward
Created by selinaward about 7 years ago
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Children’s friendships

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Friendships are very significant in the world of children’s culture. Friendships give children the opportunity to learn and develop through sharing experiences, emotions and activities For example, shared experiences in childhood could include playing games, sporting activities, watching TV and even shopping
Friendships can be the basis of shared emotions and social skills such as, communication, empathy, love, sharing and cooperation However, with these feelings also come negative and bad experiences such as being not being included, anger and jealously
Children also use friendships to compare themselves to others which help them create their own identities and sometimes even inspire them as to who they do or do not want to be The notion of friendship is quite powerful and from early on children is able to identify their friends and also understand that friendships often “break up” as seen by the childhood chants children sing
Psychologists such as Jean Piaget have identified that children’s friendship develops over set stages which develop alongside their understanding of the meaning of friends which are also closely linked to their age and development of social cognitions
Pahl (2000) believes that children’s friendships also change depending on the social contexts and the types of people they encounter, meaning friends can change depending on the immediate situation at that time. Therefore, it could be said because the social context of friendships change over time so does the meaning of what a friend is. Over the life course friends will change depending on different social contexts such as university, school, workplace, sports etc
Teenage friendships are normally based on shared understandings too and friends are often chosen because the young person can trust and rely on the other the example of Jack a 13yr old discussing his friendship with Jimmy, it seemed their friendship was based on the fact they don’t gossip or spread stuff about each other or mutual awareness. Their friendship wasn’t chosen they just got a long and then developed into friends it wasn’t pre-empted or planned
Anthropologists try to broaden our understanding of majority world relationships by conducting ethnographic research to try and understand what they mean by concepts such as “friendship, play or childhood”. For example the !Kung friendships were based on children talk about replicating the roles of their parents in hunting and cooking. One key element of the mixed age group friendships is due the lifestyle of hunting and gathering which can be dangerous at times, so the older children protect the younger ones. This highlights how the role of friendships can be based on very different reasons in different societies
The places where children share friendships will depend largely on their age and the restrictions imposed by their parents meaning they can normally only make friends in the places they immediately go to such as, school, local community, and for a few the streets
At home is where young children often form friendships, such as in nursery groups or with local neighbours Parent’s social life also imposes childhood friendships and parents often encourage their children to play with their friend’s children regardless of whether they want to or if they even get on.
Although most children have the support of families and friends some children live on the streets Three teens Wilfred, Steven and Shane all live the streets in Cape town and they are friends for unconventional reasons of normal childhood friendships (p.g.130). They mention that their friendship involves sticking up and looking after each other in terms of food, fighting and sharing whatever they have
Gender can also play a role in deciding and influencing friendship choices made in childhood Girls friendships seem to be closer emotionally than boys friendships and girls tend to rely on their friends for emotional support more so than boys. For example, two 13 yr old girls Minna and Elizabeth in Chittagong talk about how important their friendship of 2 years is and they describe this “the most special friendship in Bangledesh” suggesting close emotional attachments
Boys friendships – Although girls seemed very open to talking about their feelings for their friends boys do not seem so eager to discuss how they feel about friends Boys tended to judge each other based on each other’s appearance and personal habits. Within the boys groups there tends to be more peer pressure, competition and dominance there was a clear structure on who was a leader and who followed instructions of the others, it seemed more hierarchal than the girls groups
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