By Phil Scraton
Studying debates touching on teenagers and children, this article discusses the politics of adolescence , concentrating on subject matters resembling: the relations; schooling and education; psychological health and wellbeing; crime and justice; and sexuality.
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Extra resources for Childhood In Crisis?
CHILDHOOD’: AN INTRODUCTION 17 In positioning the analysis of the historical constructions and reconstructions of childhood within a wider theoretical context the ‘deeper reality behind surface appearance’ (Cohen, 1983:107) is emphasized. While it is not the intention here to arbitrate between competing theoretical analyses of social change and control (epistemology, sociology of knowledge and materialist versus idealist versions of history) it is essential to acknowledge the tensions, the contested dynamics and the contradictions in and between different historical analyses of childhood.
Not all families, however, are considered as ‘suitable’ in the raising and socializing of children and herein lies the determination of family versus state ownership and control of childhood. Disproportionate numbers of working class, black, and lone parent families attract the gaze of state agencies and are exposed to state-directed family interventions, becoming targets of institutionalized scorn and blame (Dominelli, 1988; Dominelli and McLeod, 1989; Jones, 1983; Parton, 1985, 1991). It follows that the level, nature and source of adult power, the control and authority to which the child is subjected will be determined by adult professional judgments and assessments of the parenting capacities of adult family members.
From a mass of daily events the news is distilled, selected and presented (Cohen and Young, 1973; Glasgow Media Group, 1976, 1980, 1982). The processes of selection and presentation are underpinned by ‘news values’, shaped by what is deemed newsworthy (Hetherington, 1985; Tunstall, 1971). According to Coleman et al. (1990:8) ‘the newsworthiness of events is based on an assumed set of news imperatives common to the genre’. Chibnall (1977) lists these imperatives as: immediacy; dramatization; personalization; simplification; titillation; 30 DAVIS AND BOURHILL conventionalism; novelty; structured access.