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Erika Friedl

Ideas about childhood and children’s experiences in a tribal area in southwest Iran have been changing along with major local sociopolitical relations over the past century quite in accordance with the functionalist model of education and socialization. However, in the most recent stage – a globalizing, consumer-driven society in a closed, totalitarian political system – child-rearing prepares children to have great aspirations and be dedicated consumers without furnishing opportunities and habits to attain the one and sustain the other. The ethnographic details about this development described in this article in the format of three stages are based on longitudinal anthropological fieldwork in Boir Ahmad over 50 years.

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The Concept of Sentimental Boyhood

The Emotional Education of Boys in Mexico during the Early Porfiriato, 1876–1884

Carlos Zúñiga Nieto

This article explores the popularization of the concept of sentimental boyhood during the anticolonial insurrections in the Ten Years’ War (1868– 1878) and the Caste War (1847–1901) in Cuba and the Yucatán Peninsula in the early 1870s. The concept was popularized as childhood advocates articulated a uniquely Mexican emotional standard in the process of child-rearing, promoting the individual cultivation of honor, the management of anger, and the use of fear as discipline. Beginning in the 1870s, Mexican educators popularized theories of boyhood drawing on European notions of boyhood, including work by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. While educators promoted Rousseau’s and Pestalozzi’s “sentimental notions of boyhood” in rural Yucatán, pedagogues in Mexico City advocated the use of fear to instill obedience among boys.

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Children's Sociality

The Civilizing Project in the Danish Kindergarten

Karen Fog Olwig

The increasing institutionalization of childhood in Western societies has generated concern in the social sciences regarding the disciplinary and regulating regimes of institutions and their presumed constraints on children's social interaction. This article argues that institutions for children can also enable such social interaction. Drawing on Norbert Elias's proposal that child rearing entails a civilizing project, this article contends that being 'not-yet-civilized' enables children to draw on a wide range of emotions and bodily expressions that are unavailable to adults. Through an analysis of life stories narrated by Danish youths, it is shown that common grounds of interaction were established in early childhood, allowing them to turn this adultconstructed institution into a place of their own where they could develop a sense of sociality.