20 The History of Children and Childhood

20 The History of Children and Childhood -...

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1/18-1/20 History of Children and Childhood Outline Early thinkers We know little about actual children the further back we go Transformation to modern childhood in the US. What we can learn from thinking historically Thinking about children’s lives- agency, consent, rights Plato Three hierarchal layers to the soul Lowest is desires and appetites Second is sprit, conviction, courage Third is divine, supernatural, immortal Develop in layers Idea that we are developing through life, and not just as child Similar to Freud Christian/Medieval View of Human Development Homunculus (medieval) Instantaneous creation The child was literally “preformed”
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o Child is in the sperm The child was seen as a miniature adults Main difference between children and adults is size- quantity, not quality.  Treated as miniature adults Children were thought to have innate tendencies towards sinfulness and  badness (Christian). True for all people John Locke (1632-1704) Challenged homunculism and Plato’s layers of the soul First to challenge the idea All people are equal at birth o If a child is bad, it is because it has bad environmental experiences. o All people created equal at birth- blank slate at birth Children are different from adults since they have had fewer experiences. Different from adults Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) “The Romantic Child” o Children are different from adults. o Children are innocent. o Children are asexual. o Children are pure and uncorrupted. The child was innately good.
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Adult society corrupted the child. Children should play, live, and behave like children before becoming adults. Transformed by the social world Kids are different than adults, and should act differently than them. One of the first people who saw that play was important. Began to think about childhood in stages Rousseau’s stages of human development o Infancy: animal stage, dominated by pleasure and pain o Second stage (5-12 years): savage stage, begins to get sense, self- consciousness, memory, sense of self o Third stage (12- 15 years): rationality, reason, first to think of this idea that  kids reason and have logic o Fourth stage (15-20 years): culminates in emotional functioning and  emergence of sex drive. Puberty is a “new birth” o Maturity: fully emotional and rational human being, adulthood Recapitulation theory: these stages correspond to the stages in the  development of the human race, everyone’s development mimics these  stages Not much here about what exactly happens; just how the thought of the  period is expected to look
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20 The History of Children and Childhood -...

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