Constructing the Identity of ‘Youth’
In this assignment you will consider how the categories of “youth” and “childhood” vary over time and across cultures. To do this, you will answer a series of questions regarding photos you select of the “jobs” of young people in three different contexts: (1) 19th and early 20th-century America; (2) Present day America; and (3) Present Day India, Nigeria, or Brazil (select one).
In present day United States culture, childhood is a nurturing time of carefree exploration and personal development, where a child’s main job is to go to school. However, this was not always the way we understood youth and childhood in the U.S., and it is not how it is understood across all countries. In fact, the concept of childhood is linked closely to social class identities. In other words, in societies (or families) that have more socioeconomic resources, childhood is a time period set aside for parental nurturing, carefree exploration, and personal development. On the other hand, in contexts of severe economic hardships, childhood is a luxury that many families cannot afford. Instead, children enter the labor force at a much younger age as a necessity of family survival (Barone 2015).
Explore the ways that the social identity of “youth” and the category of “childhood” vary across the three social contexts mentioned above by incorporating photos of the expected jobs of young people in each context. Using your selected photos and assigned readings (e.g., course text, resources provided below, supplemental materials provided by your instructor, and two additional scholarly sources), create a 12-slide PowerPoint presentation (including one title slide and one references slide in APA style).
Your PowerPoint presentation should include two main parts:
- Seven of your slides must contain photos with brief descriptions. Be sure to include a minimum of three photos for each of the three social contexts (you can include multiple photos per slide). You must obtain photos from public Internet searches and properly cite each photo.
In your description of each photo, be sure to:
- Describe how the photo helps you understand the expectations and value of “youth” and “childhood” in that society. In other words, what clues does the photo give you to determine how the identity of youth is constructed in that society?
- In the remaining three slides, address the following questions:
- Explain how the identity of “youth” and the time period of “childhood” is socially constructed and how it varies over time and across countries.
- Explain how social class impacts the social construction of “youth” and “childhood.”
- Discuss how comparing the different photos across your three social contexts help you understand the ways in which these categories are socially constructed.
To assist you with this assignment, watch this short video on child labor in developing countries (Links to an external site.), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdmiUb9_E94 as well as this video on the history and struggle to end child labor in the United States (Links to an external site.) https://youtu.be/s9U4Vx6ImpE. Sociologists have a rich history of using images to call attention to social issues. For inspiration on this assignment, please also take a look at this short video (Links to an external site.) https://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-17673213 (or read the article posted below the video) highlighting the work of Lewis Hine, an American sociologist who used photography to advocate for changes to child labor laws in the early 20th century.
The Constructing of the Identity of ‘Youth’ assignment:
- Must include 12 PowerPoint slides (including one title slide and one references slide), formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).
- The Title slide must include the following:
- Title of presentation
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must use your textbook and at least two scholarly sources.
- The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- For help searching the library’s scholarly resources, check out Database Search Tips tutorial video (Links to an external site.).
- Must include a separate references slide that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.). For more information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.
Barone, F. (2015, February 12). A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Childhood (Links to an external site.). Yale University. Retrieved from: http://hraf.yale.edu/a-cross-cultural-perspective-on-childhood/