1.18.11 - Sociology102 15:08 HistoryofChildhood...

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Sociology 102 15:08 History of Childhood Early Thinkers o We know little about actual children the further back we go Transformation to modern childhood in the U.S. What we can learn from thinking historically Thinking about children’s’ lives-agency, consent, rights Plato Three hierarchal layers of the soul (not cells) o Lowest desires and appetites  That’s how babies were understood  o Second is spirit, conviction, courage o Third is divine, supernatural, immortal People developed these layers  Christian/Medieval View of Human Development Homunculus (medieval) o Instantaneous creation o The child was literally “pre-formed.” (innate character) o The child was seen as a miniature adult Not treated as qualitative different o Children were thought to have innate tendencies towards sinfulness and  badness (Christian)- all ppl in general
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John Locke (1632-1704) First to challenge homunculus and Plato’s layers of the soul All people are equal at birth (blank slates born into a world that shapes them) o If a child is bad, it is because it has had bad environmental experiences Children are different from adults since they have had fewer experiences Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)- The Romantic Child The child was innately good If they were good that’s because adult society corrupted the child Children should play, live, and behave like the children before becoming  adults Rousseau’s Stages of human development o Infancy:  animal stage, dominated by pleasure and pain (what the human  can understand at this point) o Second stage  (5-12 years): savage stage begins to get sense, self- consciousness, memory o Third stage  (12-15): rationality, reason (early adolescence)  o Fourth stage  (15-200: culminates in emotional functioning and  emergence of sex drive. Puberty is “a new birth.” o Maturity : fully emotional and rational Recapitulation theory: these stages correspond to the stages in the  development of the human race. The Romantic Child
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2011 for the course SOC 102 taught by Professor Mcginn during the Spring '08 term at University of Michigan.

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1.18.11 - Sociology102 15:08 HistoryofChildhood...

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