Looking Beyond Adult Interpretations: Views of Children

Essay by ak1340College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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The review "Images of the Family: a study of children's perceptions" written April 2002 by Laura Firth looks at how children perceive what a family is. The article clearly captures a simplistic view of family. The writer understood when starting, that little research had been done on this subject. Most of the knowledge of family came from research done from others studies on parents, psychologist, social workers or adult recollection of their own childhood experience. An early processor Morrow (1993) argued that children are rarely seen and never heard in sociological analysis of family life.' But, through Firth interpretive approach we will explore and understand the ideas and definition of family from the child's point of view.

First we must understand what a family is from a sociological point of view. Our text book, The Family by J. Ross Eshleman, states that family is a kinship/structural group of persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption; usually related to the marital unit and including the rights and duties of parenthood.

This is seen as a typical view of family but there are several different types of categories that have been generated to fix the complexity life of families in the twentieth century. People consider many different, non-typical, people to be added to there list of family. In the article, Firth focuses on a wider range of relationships located not within the typical family that may consist of: school families, aunts, uncles, one-parent families, pets and friends that you consider your family. There are all types of family Firth hopes to confirm that children's ideas and beliefs of family life are not influence by the normal stereotypical images of family set by society's dominate views, but by one where experiences and relationships engaged are what shape their perceptions of family.

The research...