Socio-Cultural Lens

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A socio-cultural lens offers a contextual approach to understanding children and youth. This approach is beneficial towards young people because it employs a unique methodology in seeking to address issues regarding human behaviour and development, by considering how social relations and environmental context shape an individual. This process allows us to challenge our own beliefs and causes us to question how young people are influenced by their social environment and culture. These methods are used to examine the impact of social groups and cultures that individual’s are a part of. It is imperative to challenge our ‘adult’ assumptions of young people by engaging with qualitative research that allows young people to voice their thoughts and …show more content…
These fundamental traits can pose either a challenge or an opportunity, and can also contribute to the type of upbringing a person may experience. As discussed in lecture, childhood is fluid, which means that it is continuously changing and it differs for everyone. Using a socio-cultural perspective to discern children and youth is helpful because it requires us to take an objective approach to issues regarding young people. These implications take into account different cultures and how childhood and young people’s experiences can differ around the world. From the video shown in lecture, Babies, demonstrates the similarities and differences among four babies around the world, and how their social environments construct their identity. Moreover, using a socio-cultural lens is useful because it requires us to challenge our own beliefs, and question our preconceived ideas of what young people should be. It allows us to also be aware of the fact that there is not ‘one’ childhood, and for this reason we must take external factors into …show more content…
In saying this, childhood is a social creation, and it is subject to redefinition, meaning that it is neither fixed nor universal. It is essential that we keep an open mind when exploring the issue of childhood, and have a greater understanding that childhood can be viewed differently in various parts of the world. Our definitions of the term ‘child’ largely reflect Western assumptions about ability, power, autonomy, and dependency, which in turn marginalize young people (Albanese, 2009). These presumptions can be problematic when assuming what childhood means in other parts of the world. This ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach generalizes what childhood means, without regarding other cultures definitions. In the reading Working Children In Zimbabwe, for example, children are viewed as members of society where they must uphold jobs to provide for their families. An example that was analyzed within the reading was a thirteen-year-old boy, named Nhamo. Nhamo was the breadwinner of the family, working on local farms as a means in order to support his family. This presents an issue within Western culture, as we view young people differently. As discussed in lecture, we view this particular instance as problematic because of the way in which we view young people. However, in Zimbabwe, the author pointed out that the children

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