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Multiple Lenses, Multiple Images

Multiple Lenses, Multiple Images: Perspectives on the Child Across Time, Space, and Disciplines

Hillel Goelman
Sheila K. Marshall
Sally Ross
  • Book Info
    Multiple Lenses, Multiple Images
    Book Description:

    Drawing from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, the essays inMultiple Lenses, Multiple Imagesare oriented around the idea that images of childhood can be understood within three dimensions: time, space, and discipline.

    Time refers to both the chronological ages of the children under consideration and the historical timeframe in which that particular essay is suited. Space is a dimension that includes familial, community, institutional, and cultural spaces within which children live. The third dimension, discipline, names the specific and distinct areas of scholarship and research that define the ontology, epistemology, and methodology within which the contributors write.

    Multiple Lenses, Multiple Imagesis intended to deepen and expand the collaborative, interdisciplinary discourse on children and childhood through reflections not just on what is known about children, but on how it has been learned.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7745-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-2)
  3. Multiple Lenses, Multiple Images: An Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    Many North American drivers post a little yellow sign in their automobiles to alert other drivers that there is a ʹChild on Board.ʹ Recently, we observed a new variation on this sign informing us that while an actual child may not be in the car, the adult driver of the car was carrying his or her own ʹInnerChild on Board.ʹ This play on words points to the different interpretations that are assigned to the terms ʹchildʹ and ʹchildhoodʹ from colloquial, academic, and disciplinary perspectives. In the example above, we have one image of the child as young and vulnerable...

  4. 1 Childhood, History, and the Sciences of Childhood
    (pp. 14-37)

    What do we know about children and where does this knowledge come from? What is the relation between the concept and category of childhood and the lives and experiences of children? How does what we (adults) know about ʹthe childʹ inform what we do to and with children? Any serious attempt to engage with these questions about the relation between childhood and knowledge must first confront, and necessarily challenge, two issues. The first is the long-standing view of childhood as a natural or biological phenomenon falling outside the reach of historical and philosophical inquiry. The second is the disciplinary division...

  5. 2 Childhood in the Shadow of Parens Patriae
    (pp. 38-72)

    Roman doctrine casts a long shadow over contemporary childhood. The doctrine, principle, power, jurisdiction, concept, or ideology ofparens patriae- the state as the father of the people - is said to originate in Roman law, deriving from the emperorʼs titlepater patriae, or father of the state. If so, it has overarched law and policy affecting children for some twenty-five hundred years. During these millennia, three legal paradigms of childhood emerged - as property of the father in Roman and common law, as vehicle of state interests in the nineteenth century, and as rights-bearer in the later twentieth...

  6. 3 The Voices of Children in Literature
    (pp. 73-90)

    What is distinctive about literature as a way of knowing the world? Are there special ways that literature and literary studies may contribute to childhood studies?

    These are large questions, prompted by the multidisciplinary focus ofMultiple Lenses, Multiple Images. This volume takes as one of its points of departure the assumption that different disciplines construct understandings of childhood through unique lenses. Different fields ask different kinds of questions and define differently which information is meaningful and how it is to be collected, analysed, represented, and discussed.¹ In the field of literature, these issues are complicated by the very wide...

  7. 4 Muscle Memory: Reflections on the North American Schoolyard
    (pp. 91-108)

    The lens of landscape architecture focuses on built environments as well as pictures and writings that reference landscapes. Because built landscapes are physical, they are like artefacts that can be studied or interpreted. By examining landscapes as artefacts we can begin to learn something about the culture that created them. This notion of the built landscape as an artefact of culture is an underlying assumption of landscape architectural historians. It is also a type of lens that is shared with numerous other disciplines such as archaeology, art history, and cultural studies.

    According to historian Robin Evans, ʹordinary things contain the...

  8. 5 Disability in Childhood: Views within the Context of Society
    (pp. 109-121)

    I first met Annie when she was eight weeks old. She had received a diagnosis of Downʹs syndrome at birth and her family was referred to the early intervention program that I directed. Annie was small and fragile. Not only was she diagnosed with Downʹs syndrome, but she also suffered from a heart condition - an opening between the chambers of her heart. Her parents were extremely worried about her diagnosis and the heart condition. Both a health-care professional and a family friend recommended the parents institutionalize their daughter.

    Annie was born nineteen years ago. I received a greeting card...

  9. 6 Developmental Theory and Public Policy: A Cross-National Perspective
    (pp. 122-146)

    It is important to note at the outset that I am not a student of the policymaking process and that I have never formally engaged in either the construction or evaluation of public policy. Instead, I offer in this essay the perspective of a developmental psychologist raised far from North America who has (perhaps as a consequence) long argued that crosscultural research should constrain the widespread tendency of Western social scientists to overstate and overgeneralize their findings. In addition, the international experts and organizations that increasingly direct and evaluate public policies affecting children should, but seldom do, pay attention to...

  10. 7 Multiple Constructions of Childhood
    (pp. 147-167)

    In this chapter, we emphasize the need to view childrenʹs development from multiple lenses so that scholars, researchers, and practitioners alike can understand the variety of the human condition from a truly global perspective. We highlight the diversity of cultural constructs of childhood and child rearing to broaden our fieldʹs vision and mission of understanding and promoting the development of all children and families. We use sociocultural theory as the preferred theoretical framework to integrate the study of culture and human development and, thereby, create new lenses for understanding different developmental processes and outcomes across cultural groups. We emphasize this...

  11. 8 Spirituality and Children: Paying Attention to Experience
    (pp. 168-196)

    This volume includes chapters that explore the ways in which children are made invisible or are diminished by adult-oriented theories that treat them as property, as incomplete, or as being only in preparation for ʹrealʹ (that is, adult) life (see chapters 4 & 10). Spirituality in children is, unfortunately, not an exception to either invisibility or to an adultfocused orientation. Until recently, the spiritual life experiences of children were seldom acknowledged or explored. The dominant Euro-Western cultural assumptions about spirituality are typified by comments in Ronald Goldmanʹs (1964) influentialReligious Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence. It is clear to him that...

  12. 9 The Child as Agent in Family Life
    (pp. 197-229)

    There is increasing recognition within the social sciences that children have been viewed through narrow and restrictive lenses. Research questions regarding children and the categories and contexts used to describe them have mostly reflected the experiences and agendas of adults, rather than those of children as actors and agents in their own right. In developmental psychology, the lenses of development and socialization focused upon children as incomplete or unfinished products in the process of becoming adults and acquiring adult competencies, knowledge, and culture (Hogan, Etz, & Tudge, 1999; Mayall, 1994; James & Prout, 1990). In sociology, children have been all but ignored...

  13. 10 Childhoodʹs Ends
    (pp. 230-238)

    In thinking about what we might want from childhood - that we would feel compelled to subject children through this project to multiple lenses and images, dispersed across time, space, and disciplines - the contributors to this book do a wonderful job of addressing different ways of knowing and usingchildhoodas a means not only of understanding the very young, but ourselves in the largest sense. My original part in this project of composing a composite image of childhood was to work with the literary landscape set out by Naomi Sokoloff in these books through her reading of two...

  14. Contributors
    (pp. 239-240)