Children and the Social Movement

Essay by blondncrazy817High School, 12th grade October 2008

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Everyday children are used in society. They can be used in a positive way, negative way, or just because adults think they can use them. They are used in social movement and change all the time. Children can be used in three different types of social movement. One way that they can be used is in a strategic way. Adults use them strategically as a symbol to enhance their goal. Participation by default is another typology. Participation by default is essentially a convenience for the parents. Children are at the parent’s mercy; they are there simply because it is the easiest option for the parents. The third typology is active participation. Active participation means that kids make the choice to be involved. The kids see a social problem and they want to make a change. Children use their own minds and decision to be a part of a social movement. When dealing with children and social movement the lines between active participation and strategic participation become very blurry. It is not always clear if the child is purposefully acting or acting because they are asked to, or acting because they think they have to. A child may start out in a social movement by default, than that may turn in to strategic participation, and it may ultimately lead to active participation. Children are viewed as sweet, innocent, and naïve, but yet they are used, sometimes manipulated, and have the ability to make a positive change when it comes to social issues.

Jesus Camp depicts each of these social movements throughout the film. Some of the examples are clearer than others. In Jesus Camp most of these children started their social movement by default. It is an extreme convenience for children to go to the same church as...