2008 AAA CFP: Disjunctive Childhoods

Child-centered research should expand beyond simplistic notions of unified,
directional contexts of socialization. Enculturation does not entail
children's gradual accumulation of set, stable values from known,
predictable sources, even if folk models focused on formal education might
indicate it. In diverse, dynamic settings, children are exposed to a number
of sources of values. School, family, peers, the media, and others may
present divergent, parallel, or slightly varying representations of cultural
values. The values transmitted to children are not a unified system.
Disjunctive socialization refers to these distinctions. The distinctions
between values do not need to accompany great transitions in a child's life,
but may exist from subtle variations that are part of daily activity.

We should not neglect to notice the processual negotiation of cultural
values in childhood by focusing solely on the results of internalization.
Children are not only of interest because of the adults that they become,
but also because of what we can learn regarding culture from their
perspectives. Considering children's perspectives requires attention to
their activity and involvement in their own enculturation. Enculturation is
not a directional process that instills values in a child, but a continuous
negotiation through which children grow together within themselves and in
their society.

I would like to request papers that discuss children's perspectives on
cultural values when culture change leads to different sets of values; when
structural positions of influences lead to different representations of
cultural values; when other children confirm and contest larger cultural
influences; when consumerism, the media, and/or political rhetoric put forth
variable notions of childhood _to children_. This panel seeks to redefine
children's agency through discussing instances where children adapt
psychologically and adjust socially to their environment through the
negotiation of various influences. Please submit abstracts by 3/15/08 for
consideration.