Soul of Society: A Focus on the Lives of Children & Youth: Volume 18

Subject:

Table of contents

(20 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Dedication

Page xi
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Purpose

Previous research has shown that gentrification has mixed effects on residents of the community. This paper focuses on the differential implications of gentrification for youth in the gentrifying area and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted among youth aged 11–16 and their parents in Asbury Park, a shore community in New Jersey that is currently experiencing tourism-related redevelopment.

Findings

Respondents describe various ways that gentrification creates visible disparities between neighborhoods. Uneven spatial investment leads youth and their parents to perceive their immediate, disinvested residential surroundings as more dangerous and violent than invested spaces near the ocean. Displacement causes neighborhood social networks of remaining residents to dissolve and erodes the social fabric of the community. Moreover, the prohibitive cost of new amenities limits residents’ access to new leisure opportunities nearby.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies could compare similarly sized communities experiencing gentrification specific to tourism, as well as communities experiencing different types of redevelopment. Future studies should also seek to include a more representative sample of Latino residents.

Practical implications

This study contributes to our understanding of how children and youth experience gentrification. These findings should be of interest to policymakers, developers, and those working directly with youth, including teachers and social workers.

Social implications

These findings point to how youth experience gentrification differently according to their proximity or distance from invested areas. This should influence measures to improve service provision and access.

Original/value

This paper contributes to the existing literature on experiences of individuals living in gentrifying spaces by focusing on children whose families remain in the community.

Purpose

To provide insight into young people’s attitudes toward community, place, and public discourse on youth and the environment, and to constructively situate the concept of “a sense of place” within these insights for critical pedagogy and community development.

Design/methodology/approach

This project utilizes a grounded theory approach to identify salient themes in young people’s expressions of place relationships through poetry. About 677 poems about “local watersheds” written by youth aged 5–18 for the River of Words Poetry Contest between 1996 and 2009 are analyzed using poetic and content analysis.

Findings

Findings include the importance of place experiences that employ risk-taking and play, engage central family relationships, and provide access to historical and political narratives of place for the development of constructive place relationships. We also present findings regarding emotions in the sample, showing changing levels of hope and idealism, sadness, pessimism, and other emotions as expressed in the poems.

Research limitations/implications

Using poetic analysis to study attitudes, values, and feelings is a promising method for learning more about the perceptions and values of individuals that affect their self-efficacy and agency.

Practical and social implications

Engaging youth as active participants and empathetic knowledge-creators in their own places offers one opportunity for critical reflective development in order to combat and reframe disempowering public discourses about young people and their relationships to nature and community. Educators can use this research to adapt contextually and emotionally rooted methods of place-based learning with their students.

Original/value

The paper uses a nontraditional, mixed methods approach to research and a unique body of affective data. It makes a strong argument for reflective, experiential, and critical approaches to learning about nature and society issues in local contexts.

Abstract

This paper aims to clarify the meaning of children’s participation in the relationship between children’s individual action and the social treatment and consequences of this action. For this purpose, the paper explores the integration of different theoretical approaches that can shape research on children’s participation, looking at interactions, complex social systems that include interactions, and narratives that are produced in these complex social systems. This integration allows the understanding of the ways in which children actively participate in communication processes, social structures condition children’s active participation, and children’s active participation can enhance structural change in social systems, through the implementation of promotional communication systems. The paper highlights the following paradox: the relevance of children’s action for social change depends on the relevance of adults’ action in promoting children’s actions. This theoretical perspective is exemplified in the case of promotion of children’s active participation in the education system through the empirical analysis of cases of videotaped and transcribed interactions, highlighting facilitation systems of classroom communication. The analyzed data are based on a field research in Italian classrooms regarding a specific methodology of facilitation of communication. The analysis of these data shows the ways in which the facilitation system creates the paradoxical relationship between structures that condition children’s active participation and children’s active participation that enhances structural change. The paper highlights a new way of dealing with children’s participation, based on a social constructionist, systemic, and interactionist approach.

Purpose

The main purpose of the paper is to reveal how a modern play influences child and predict the possibility of what the following generation will look like, because children’s play is closely interconnected with future adult activity.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review of the problem is presented along with the following empirical methods: the questionnaire survey of parents; visually narrative approach, the main sense of which is to combine the use of pictures, graphic representations, and so on with the comments of authors to them; interviews with children according to the cards with the images of the different types of games; and the method of involved observation and direct-vision method.

Findings

Dominant type of games, intergenerational relationships, relationships of children with other children, the role of imaginative play, computer games, and toys are the questions the answers on which the research helped to receive.

At the conclusion, it was also found out how familization, institutionalization, individuation, and commercialization are reflected in the play and games of children.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in Russia and the cultural specificity of the country was taken into account.

Practical implications

The paper brings the issue of play to the forefront in an effort to involve parents, educators, and administrative workers.

Social implications

The results of the research can be interesting for the scientists and practical workers in different countries, since in the century of globalization it is possible to observe the spreading and interosculation of play and games culture.

Originality/value

All conclusions are based on the answers of the children who are 4–7 years old.

Abstract

Who really teaches student teachers how to teach? Utilizing a sociology of childhood and youth theoretical framework and a descriptive phenomenology design and method, this study sought to ask children and youth about their experiences as the student teachers placed in their classroom developed classroom management skills. This study utilized questions, observations, drawings, and focus groups to address the research question: “How do children and youth in the classroom impact the experience of classroom management for student teachers?” The goal of the study was not to find instances where children or youth in the classroom assisted or negated the development of classroom management but instead, to observe if this occurred and if it did, how it occurred. In asking this question, this study extends beyond the existing literature and considers the role of children and youth in the development of classroom management for student teachers.

Key findings indicate that children and youth attempt to communicate their classroom management needs with their student teachers verbally, physically, and behaviorally. Through observations, a model emerged of behavior demonstrating increased student engagement or lack of engagement. During focus groups, participants elucidated the thoughts and or feelings behind their classroom behavior. Although drawings were collected during focus groups, this study would have benefited from more discussion with children regarding their drawings.

Purpose

This study examines the relative influence of adolescent job characteristics upon girls’ and boys’ educational and occupational aspirations.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from the 2010 Monitoring the Future Project, a nationally representative sample of high school seniors in the United States, descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses are used to examine variations in girls’ and boys’ aspirations. The analyses are conducted with a life-course theoretical framework.

Findings

Overall, girls are shown to have greater aspirations for attaining a college degree and a professional career, as compared to boys. However, the relationship between teenagers’ job characteristics and adult statuses is shown to be substantially stronger among boys. For both sexes, work hours are associated with lower aspirations, yet the particular type of job responsibilities, such as office work, increased the aspirations for both females and males.

Research limitations/implications

The findings strongly support the contention that the development of educational and occupational aspirations is readily influenced by the context of work experiences during the teen years. Given the variations shown in the aspirations and work experiences of adolescent girls and boys, future researcher should attempt to more precisely examine the work experiences of teens and discern how these may affect other developmental processes.

Originality/value

This study extends the current research literature by examining the distinct differences in the work experiences of adolescent girls and boys and how those experiences potentially influence the development of educational and occupational goals.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine Latino adolescents’ perceptions of the effects of religion on family relationships in the context of intersecting variables of influence such as assimilation, family structure, and migration.

Design

Consistent with the ecological and acculturation frameworks, this qualitative, exploratory study uses directed content analysis to analyze responses from 37 religiously diverse Latino adolescents to open-ended, semi-structured questions from the National Study of Youth and Religion to explore religious influence.

Findings

Results suggest that Latino adolescents feel that religion impacts family relationships, with higher degrees of positive religious influence expressed by Baptists and Latino males. Christians (various denominations) were more likely to report that religion affected family relationships than Catholics. All participants who stated that religion exerted a negative influence came from nontraditional families. Youths of Central/South American and Puerto Rican descent were more likely to report that religion affected family relationships positively than were Mexican adolescents. Overall, Latinas girls were more likely to have strong opinions about religion and family relationships than Latino males. Results also suggest an intersection between the Latino cultural values of respeto and marianismo with religion.

Limitations/implications

Although this study is exploratory and the sample was diverse, the results are not generalizable.

Originality

This study provides a sociological lens to the experiences of a rapidly changing and growing demographic in the United States – Latinos. These findings would be of importance to those who are interested in supporting Latino families and facilitating positive adolescent outcomes.

Purpose

This paper sets out to analyse both the dominant constructions of childhood and the prevailing sexual scripts embedded in international reports on the sexualisation of childhood debate.

Approach

Four international reports from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States are analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis whereby the sexual subjecthoods made available to children and images of childhood itself can be interrogated.

Findings

This paper finds that a broad-brush approach to sexualisation renders consumption and embodiment as ‘sexualised’ and problematic. Gender remains unproblematised and sexuality as an issue is palpable by its absence. The reports show a lack of attention to the voices of children and a denial of their moral agency. Innocence is constructed as a fundamental yet unstable feature of childhood which requires protection from the insidious external forces of 21st century sexual cultures. Childhood thus functions as a motif for the state of society as a whole.

Value

Identifying the dominant constructions of childhood, sexualisation, gender and sexuality, by analysing how these concepts are defined, understood and talked about within international responses to the issue of the sexualisation of childhood, light can be shed upon the sanctioned ways made available to ‘do’ sex, gender and sexuality and to ‘be’ a child, a boy, a girl, a ‘sexual’ or a ‘sexualised’ being. In addition, this enables evaluation of the ways in which images of the child are mobilised for policy and political agendas and how childhood functions as both a barometer for, and symbol of, the well-being of a society.

Purpose

This study assesses children’s understanding of terrorists and the role of sociopolitical context in their conceptualizations. Gender and age effects also are explored.

Methodology

Children aged 5- to 12-years from the United States and Northern Ireland were interviewed using a semi-structured survey. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted.

Findings

The children conceptualized terrorists in terms of their actions, traits, motivations, and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Most understood what “terrorist” meant by age 9. American children were more apt than Northern Irish children to emphasize that terrorists can look like anybody. Gender was not related to conceptions of terrorists.

Research implications

The generalizability of the results should be made with caution as participant selection was limited. Future research on this topic should incorporate representative races, religions, and socioeconomic groups in the sample. Another limitation of the study is that the data were not collected concurrently in the two countries.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for human service professionals who can provide parents with empirically based information about what children understand about terrorists and give them the language to communicate with their children about acts of terrorism.

Originality/value

This study addresses a timely, yet understudied topic, capturing children’s understanding of terrorists in their own words. The research was conducted in two countries with different sociopolitical histories, which addresses the recent call for research on children’s conceptions of terrorists to occur from a cross-cultural perspective.

Purpose

To review the literature on delinquency and victimization among Caribbean youth, utilizing an ecological perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The review was initiated by a search of peer-reviewed journal articles published between 1993 and 2013, which investigated any or all aspects of juvenile delinquency and/or youth victimization in the Caribbean. Studies were critically reviewed to determine whether they addressed relationships between victimization and delinquency, and the role of the social environment on youth.

Findings

The search yielded 23 relevant studies: 64 percent of the studies were conducted exclusively in Jamaica, and more than 75 percent were school based. Half of the articles addressed the links between victimization and delinquency among Caribbean youth but the majority was primarily descriptive.

Research limitations/implications

Only peer-reviewed journals were included, so unpublished country and organizational reports were not covered in the review.

Practical implications

More current and longitudinal studies are needed, which examine the connections between delinquency and victimization, and the experiences in the smaller or less developed Caribbean countries.

Social implications

The review provides directions for the enhancement of positive youth development policy and practice.

Originality/value

This paper fills the gap in the understanding of the research on delinquency and victimization among Caribbean youth. The ecological framework also adds value to the understanding of the topic by highlighting the importance of various social contexts, such as the family, school, and neighborhood, on youth development in the Caribbean.

Purpose

The prevalence of online hate material is a public concern, but few studies have analyzed the extent to which young people are exposed to such material. This study investigated the extent of exposure to and victimization by online hate material among young social media users.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyzed data collected from a sample of Finnish Facebook users (n = 723) between the ages of 15 and 18. Analytic strategies were based on descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.

Findings

A majority (67%) of respondents had been exposed to hate material online, with 21% having also fallen victim to such material. The online hate material primarily focused on sexual orientation, physical appearance, and ethnicity and was most widespread on Facebook and YouTube. Exposure to hate material was associated with high online activity, poor attachment to family, and physical offline victimization. Victims of the hate material engaged in high levels of online activity. Their attachment to family was weaker, and they were more likely to be unhappy. Online victimization was also associated with the physical offline victimization.

Social implications

While the online world has opened up countless opportunities to expand our experiences and social networks, it has also created new risks and threats. Psychosocial problems that young people confront offline overlap with their negative online experiences. When considering the risks of Internet usage, attention should be paid to the problems young people may encounter offline.

Originality

This study expands our knowledge about exposure to online hate material among users of the most popular social networking sites. It is the first study to take an in-depth look at the hate materials young people encounter online in terms of the sites where the material was located, how users found the site, the target of the hate material, and how disturbing users considered the material to be.

About the Authors

Pages 275-279
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DOI
10.1108/S1537-4661201418
Publication date
2014-09-25
Book series
Sociological Studies of Children and Youth
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-060-5
eISBN
978-1-78441-059-9
Book series ISSN
1537-4661