PRAXIS in Children's Studies - History Department at ...
The Need For Theory in Childrens Studies Nothing Is As Simple As It Appears From here there is no turning back So What Will You Choose? take the blue pill and return to your
ordinary everyday lives OR take the red pill and see how deep the Representation Who has voice and who does not Images, Images Everywhere! over abundance of images surround us
we cant immediately decode all of the messages Therefore we naturalize! when an image is familiar and repeated we categorize it as natural allowing it in- without further decoding Examples Big questions:
Is this what we have done with representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and ability in the media? Have stereotypes of social variables taken on a life of their own, so as to become the only representation of the variables allowed and/or accepted in the media?
Discourses: Defn: 1) verbal interchange of ideas; especially conversation 2) a formal and orderly and usually extended expression of thought on a subject 3) a mode of organizing knowledge,
ideas, of experience that is rooted in language and its concrete contexts (as history or institutions) Discourses are: The way we talk about stuff There can be more than one discourse associated with a subject Ie/ york u. home page
http//:www.yorku.ca A symbol is always just a symbol Description (in any form- film, literature, advertising, etc) can never fully explain its subject A symbol only represents and never IS Its iconic: defn: it represents an object but
has none of its properties What is this? representation The picture of the cow represents the cows but it doesnt represent It is not a cow Ie/ what we see on TV cannot really
represent itself (the dog that can bark but not bite) representation Representation: defn: 1) one that represents: as an artistic likeness or image 2) a statement or account made to influence opinion or action
Representation Discourses are how we use language to represent the ideas, ideologies, and values of a culture. Often these representations are not based on fact or truth but instead on stereotypes and assumptions The problem is when these
representations become the norm. i.e. Frozone or The Frog Princess Pierre Bourdieu In Distinction explains how an accent works to maintain class distinction Moves the idea of distinction away from economic to cultural Suggests that lifestyles are the big
distinguishers capital Usually refers to money/land Is really about power relations We already know power relations are unequal According to Bourdieu, capital, can be more than economic- it can be symbolic
Types of Capital Economic capital Cultural capital
Political capital Etc. Where Bourdieu meets up with us Cultural capital has replaced economic capital as the space where distinction happens The difference is still economic BUT it is made REAL through culture
It is legitimated through culture It is our lifestyles which distinguish and determine who is better than others and Who has power THE POINT: all discourses are rooted in language and history: The way we talk about things is based on:
A particular history A particular worldview A particular power relationship Therefore with regards to children and childrens studies: How a society talks about its children- tells us a lot about that societys Values
Culture Priorities Inherent Power Structures THE PROBLEM WITH: The authentic voice of the child This is why the authentic voice of the child is so difficult to hear BECAUSE too many of a societies
discourses about childhood are focused on what adults THINK about children and what they WANT childhood to be This is what makes representation an issue. Discourses about children are symbols they reflect adult desires and fears about society
through representing childhood as either: a) innocent, pure, and in need of protection, or b) bad, evil, and in need of surveillance and salvation. BREAK Why Marx?
Why Gramsci? Why Althussier? We need a criteria to judge society We need a starting point
We need a specimen In This Course equality is our criteria
the beginning of childhood is our starting point childrens right are our specimen
Scope Over the next month we will examine the social construction of: Race Class Gender Sexuality, etc. Around ideas on representation, discourse,
ideology, and oppression And argue that age is also a social variable, which requires a critical theory OR to put it more simply: We are interested in the making, marking, and maintaining of the social
inequalities of the adult/child relationship Marx and Engels: the making ruling ideas represent interests of ruling class ruling class = economic power & access to system of production those with money, education, power, and
access find their ideas, hopes, dreams, & ambitions: most represented the norm i.e. Sammonds Generic Child *representation is NEVER proportionate* in terms of size (#s)
Other Ruling class In terms of power (voice) Ruling Class/Dominant Ideology Other voices
Definition in relation to DI race class Dominant Ideology gender sexuality
Definition in relation to DI race class gender sexuality
race race race race
class class class class gender
gender gender gender sexuality
sexuality D.I sexuality sexuality Gramsci:
the marking Gramsci told us what is ideology, how ideology is constructed in different periods of history. laid out the dangers of: a) overlooking power relations in discourses b) seeing ideology as natural, innocent,
stupid, etc. *Dr. Seuss & At the Airport* Althusser: the maintaining ISAs and RSAs Repressive State Apparatus The govt. Military
Police Uses violence to maintain order ISAs- Ideological State Apparatus Education Religion Family
Uses ideology to maintain order Althusser Both ISAs and RSAs use a double functioning That is both use ideology and violence/repression to maintain order The difference is which one is dominant RSA- violence is dominant
ISAs- Ideology is dominant Althusser, discourse, representation and the politics of children To be political a person must first be aware: ideology works on two levels: Explicit and implicit (obvious and hidden) The more obvious it is the more
dangerous it is This ideology is at play in everything around us (no one is outside of it) Words and symbols hold enormous power All the images we see in ads, movies, TV, magazines, etc. are always meaning more than simply what they portray A can of Coke is never simply a can of Coke
Task : Examine the oppression around you- in your own lifewhat does it look like? Make a collage of all of the symbols/icons/images in your life that shape, alter, or influence your actions as an adult. On the back of the collage, answer the following questions: 1) how do these icons affect you? 2) which symbols are from your childhood?
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