Topic 3 - Theories of Childhood

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Exploring different theories of childhood – from the foundational theories of behaviorism and socialization; to later developments like the social learning and interactionist perspectives; and finally to recent innovative theories & perspectives like interpretive reproduction, the ecological approach, and structural and critical perspectives.

In each, we examine the social scientists and theorists behind the theory, its focus (either micro or macro, or the connections between them), its key thoughts about children, and some of the assumptions that underpin the theory.

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  • Wonderful imagery and great coverage of key themes - I'd like to see you give this presentation. if you like, check out my sociology of childhood presentation which is part of a series on the entire life course.
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Topic 3 - Theories of Childhood

  1. 1. TOPIC 4:THEORIES OF CHILDHOOD
  2. 2. TRADITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT ChildrenWhat are children learning and how do they learn? When do children develop emotional capabilities similar to adults? How do children process information?How do childhood experiences affect personality development?
  3. 3. the New Sociology of Children Born out of a discontent with the ways traditional academic perspectives saw children and treated childhood assimply a step on the way to adulthood, thenew sociology of children was established.
  4. 4. the New Sociology of ChildrenIntroduced by sociologist Barrie Thorne,Launched as an area of academic studyby Gertrud Lenzer in 1991,... And theoretically advanced by WilliamCorsaro in the U.S. and Alan Prout andAlison James in the UK.
  5. 5. THEORETICALFOUNDATIONS
  6. 6. FOUNDED BYB.F. Skinner (& Pavlov) Psychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  7. 7. Psychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  8. 8. REINFORCEMENT & PUNISHMENTARE KEY in LearningPsychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  9. 9. Some Assumptions:#1. Child is Passive#2. Adults Shape Children#3. Development is Unilateral Psychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  10. 10. MICRO / IndividuaL Psychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  11. 11. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: B.F. Skinner #1. Child is PassiveFOCUS: #2. Adults Shape Micro / Individual Children #3. Development isReinforcement Unilateral & PunishmentAre Key in Learning Psychological Theory of BEHAVIORISM
  12. 12. FOUNDED BY Durkheim & ParsonsFunctionalist ViewOF SOCIALIZATION THEORY
  13. 13. SOCIALIZATION IS VIEWED... Older Generations PASS Culture OntoYounger GenerationsFunctionalist ViewOF SOCIALIZATION THEORY
  14. 14. Some Assumptions:#1. Child is passive#2. Children must be shaped to fit in#3. Cultural transmission insures survival Functionalist View OF SOCIALIZATION THEORY
  15. 15. MACRO / SOCIETALFunctionalist ViewOF SOCIALIZATION THEORY
  16. 16. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Durkheim, Parsons #1. Child is PassiveFOCUS: #2. Children must be Macro / Societal shaped to fit in #3. Cultural OLDER GENERATION transmissionPASSES CULTURE On To insures survival YOUNGER GENERATION Functionalist View OF SOCIALIZATION THEORY
  17. 17. THEORETICALDEVELOPMENTS
  18. 18. (Neither) FOUNDED BY Piaget & VygotskySOCIAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE
  19. 19. Children... Interpret, Organize, and Use InformationFrom Their Environment SOCIAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE
  20. 20. Some Assumptions:#1. Development occurs in discrete stages#2. Child must accomplish one stage successfully before moving on to the next SOCIAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE
  21. 21. MICRO / IndividuaL SOCIAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE
  22. 22. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Piaget, Vygotsky #1. DevelopmentFOCUS: occurs in discrete stages Micro / Individual #2. Child mustChildren Interpret, accomplish one Organize and Use before moving on Information from their Environment to the next SOCIAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE
  23. 23. FOUNDED BYGEORGE HERBERT MEAD INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  24. 24. MICRO / IndividuaL INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  25. 25. Children Develop Identity in response tointeractions with others INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  26. 26. Some Assumptions:#1. Child is an active agent#2. Identity is based on children’s perceptions of others’ perceptions of them INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  27. 27. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Mead #1. Child is anFOCUS: active agent Micro / Individual #2. Identity is based on children’s Children Develop perceptions ofIdentity in response others’ perceptions to Interactions with others of them INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE
  28. 28. THEORETICALInnovations
  29. 29. FOUNDED BY William Corsaro Interpretive Reproduction
  30. 30. Children Negotiate, Shareand Create Culture with Adults and Each Other Interpretive Reproduction
  31. 31. Some Assumptions:#1. Children are active agents#2. Children are innovative and creative#2. Children influence adults in addition to being influenced by them Interpretive Reproduction
  32. 32. Micro-MaCRO ConnectionsInterpretiveReproduction
  33. 33. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Corsaro #1. Children are active agentsFOCUS: Micro / Individual #2. Children are innovative & creative Children Negotiate, #2. Children Share, and Create influence adults andCulturE with Adults vice versa and Each Other Interpretive Reproduction
  34. 34. FOUNDED BY Urie Bronfenbrenner EcologicalPerspectives
  35. 35. Child Develops Competence Within aSocial Network EcologicalPerspectives
  36. 36. Micro-MaCRO Connections EcologicalPerspectives
  37. 37. OVERLAPPINGSOCIAL CIRCLES
  38. 38. Some Assumptions:#1. Social systems overlap and interact#2. Interactions between systems shape child outcomes#3. The goal for the child is competence Ecological Perspectives
  39. 39. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Bronfenbrenner #1. Social systems overlap and interactFOCUS: Micro/Macro #2. Interactions between systems Child Develops shape child outcomes Competence #2. The goal for the Within a child is competence Social Network Ecological Perspectives
  40. 40. FOUNDED BY JENS QVORTRUP (NOT JENS QVORTRUP) Structural Perspectives
  41. 41. Childhood is a PermanentStructural CategorySimilar to Social Class Structural Perspectives
  42. 42. Some Assumptions:#1. Childhood constitutes a particular social form#2. Children are exposed to the same social forces as adults#3. Children actively construct society Structural Perspectives
  43. 43. Micro-MaCRO Connections StructuralPerspectives
  44. 44. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Qvortrup #1. Social systems overlap and interactFOCUS: Macro #2. Interactions between systems Childhood is a shape child outcomes Permanent Structural Category #2. The goal for theSimilar to Social Class child is competence Structural Perspectives
  45. 45. FOUNDED BYBARRIE THORNE and James & Prout CRITICAL Perspectives
  46. 46. ChildrenRESIST domination, both actively and passively CRITICALPerspectives
  47. 47. Some Assumptions:#1. Children are active agents#2. Adults have more power than children and use it to control and dominate them#3. Like other oppressed groups, children will resist domination CRITICAL Perspectives
  48. 48. Micro-MaCRO Connections CRITICALPerspectives
  49. 49. FOUNDED BY: Assumptions: Thorne, #1. Children are active Prout & James agents #2. Adults have more powerFOCUS: than children and use it to Micro-Macro control and dominate them #2. Like other oppressedChildren groups, children will resistRESIST domination, dominationboth actively & passively CRITICAL Perspectives
  50. 50. USING THEORETICAL APPROACHES Which of these theories do Behaviorism you tend to use to explain Socialization children’s lives/childhood? Sometimes two theories will Learning Theory give us two different Interactionist perspectives on an event or situationInterpretive Reproduction Sometimes different theories Ecological will be compatible and will expand our understanding of Structural an event or situation Critical How do children theorize about their lives?
  51. 51. THEMARSHMALLOW TEST

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