children & young people's cultural worlds

Sally Cavaglieri
Mind Map by , created about 6 years ago

Mind Map on children & young people's cultural worlds, created by Sally Cavaglieri on 09/14/2013.

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Sally Cavaglieri
Created by Sally Cavaglieri about 6 years ago
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children & young people's cultural worlds
1 childhood, culture & innocence
1.1 idea of childhood innocence is powerful theme and is at the heart of how childhood is understood ~ yet it is a very complex and contested concept with many different meanings
1.1.1 the idea of childhood innocence can be seen in many areas ~ it can be traced in literature, art, media, cinema and advertising as well as children's toys, games or clothing ~ it also informs laws and policy making and education
1.1.1.1 yet it is not an easy concept and has many contradictory areas and meanings
1.1.1.1.1 innocence can be viewed as opposite of evil or lack of sin ~ it may also imply ignorance in terms of drugs, sex or hatred or grief ~ some see it as a child's natural universal state ~ while others think it is dependent on cultural and historical contexts and means different things at different times
1.1.1.1.1.1 it may be associated with purity and virtue, but may also be associated with unsettling things such as child beauty pageants, 'schoolgirl' look and semi clad teens ~ where these ideas come from is hard to say but each has a history and is reflected in law, religion, literature, paintings, media and personal experience
1.1.1.1.1.1.1 innocence is sign children are pure and not yet come into contact with sexuality, the market, money or politics ~ and requires adult protection although perceptions of the extent of what children should and should not be allowed to do varies across time & space.
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 Innocence is also valued for what it says about adults ~ a belief in childhood innocence suggests a quality processed by children
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 Romantic poets and painters of late 18th century early 19th century portrayed children as being closer to nature, living in the moment and imaginative ~that is lost to adults but by celebrating and protecting children's innocence adults can recapture a sense of wonder and joy
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 Warner identifies a number of ways in which adults see children as innocent
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 children are naturally innocent ~ uncontaminated by adult world of corruption
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 children are blank slates ~ they have no knowledge, no experience, no wickedness or that others may wish them harm
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 are agents of redemption ~ children as seen in characters such as Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up will always have innocence and childish wonder that adults no longer have
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 childhood is basis of adult identity ~ childhood is key to adult identity ~ the child's experiences shape the adult psyche ~ injury done to a child will lead to a damaged adult
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 children exist in separate state ~ are innocent because they are outside society, have no knowledge of life, live in state separate from adult world
1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1 children should not be consumers ~ generally innocence is seen as being lost when they enter economic marketplace as consumers ~ being brought or pestering parents to buy goods aimed at child market
2 one theme that has emerged is children's changing role in the marketplace as consumers and active participants of media technologies ~ which often leads to clashes with adult authority ~ historian Gary Cross identifies 'sheltered innocence' as an ideal of contemporary childhood, that reflects the Victorian belief that childhood was a special time and the shift in adult/child relationships that happened during the 19th century ~ which he claims that a modern understanding of childhood as a separate protected state became a reality for some children ~during this period in areas of the minority world children who were once economically valued became emotionally priceless
2.1 adults beliefs in sheltered innocence can be seen in the way parents shelter them from influences that they feel may harm them, such as not allowing them to walk to school on their own, restrict TV or computer games, non-commercial channels or DVD's avoiding certain brands of toys or choosing toys so girls cannot play with Barbie dolls or boys with guns ~ some of these practices are seen as adult yearning for golden past of childhood innocence ~ yet people often look back at own parents anxieties with amusements while being convinced theirs own concerns are pressing issues
2.1.1 yet children's own cultural practices often show a self awareness that is at odds with adult perception of innocence and are capable of playing on this when it suits them
2.1.1.1 recent ideas that challenge childhood innocence ~ Cross argues that innocence has been defined and experienced through consumer culture both positive and negatively ~ he argues the emphasis shifted from pure to cute which showed children as naturally 'impish' fun-loving and adventurous ~ all these qualities enticed parents to spend but at the same time assuring children would not be spoilt but just to satisfy their curiosity ~ such ideas are still evolving today and increasingly focus on holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween and are focused on children and consumption that involves gift giving or novel experiences
2.1.1.1.1 the cycle of consumption never stops and there is constant incitement to buy more ad quest to reproduce 'first time' experiences
2.1.1.1.1.1 but protecting children is dependent on having the right resources to provide a certain type of childhood, low income families mostly in African American or Latino parents in Pugh's study showed that they provided items like Game Boy or Nintendo to keep children entertained at home so they did not have to go onto the streets where it was dangerous and can be seen as act of love and care ~ yet these choices have been criticised as poor parenting practices that contribute to childhood obesity and ill-health
2.1.1.1.1.1.1 others argue children are best protected by empowering them through knowledge not through relying on their innocence ~saying children should know about the world and how to avoid certain pitfalls yet those who believe children should learn about sex education or death at school are often accused of intruding on childhood innocence by telling children things they do not yet need to know
3 Images of childhood innocence ~ can indicate how concepts and ideals have changed over time ~ and can be a powerful because they shape they way we view the world and ideals of childhood and innocence

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3.1 Artists and poets of Romantic era can be seen celebrating childhood innocence, contemporary images are viewed with suspicion and concern, images of naked children on display cause anxiety and people question the motive behind the photographer and viewer ~ modern images have challenged the Romantic ideals of innocence that it is now impossible to look at them without thinking about abuse and the sexulaised child

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3.1.1 images of children are used in all aspects of ways to sell products, including charity campaigns ~ Barnardo's launched adverts to raise awareness if their work with young people and used children in a variety of adult images and situations, drugs, alcohol abuse, prostitution and prison~ although more common now they were one of first to use images to shock and raise awareness and money to confront threats to childhood innocence

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3.1.1.1 these images received many complaints and people were shocked ~ but the message they were trying to get across was that all children deserve a future, that they should be protected from harmful knowledge and that some children live in cycle of abuse that suggest damaged children will lead to damaged adults who in turn may damage their own children

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3.1.1.1.1 Iage is crucial factor here because the reason they are so effective is the idea of childhood innocence and would give a completely different picture if the images were replaced by adolescents who are less likely to be thought of as innocent even though they are still legally classed as children

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4 Freud ~argued all children are inherently sexual, although his views are much contested ~ he understood sexuality was part of developmental process and sexual feelings were present in the child from moment of birth and rejected other ideas that these feelings only began at puberty ~
4.1 Foucault ~ agued that ideas about sexuality are cultural and historical constructs ~ he understood sexuality as the product of ways of speaking and thinking and categorising sex
4.1.1 he argued modern systems of government did not repress sexuality but developed new ways of talking about sex, and sexual activity and defined people in terms of their sexual identity
5 innocence can often lie in the eye of the beholder ~ what adult's view a innocent can reveal more about adults than childhood, there are growing media fears children are becoming more sexualised and parents concerns about this may be overstated but children may well react differently to these so called threats

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