Childhoods 2005 Oslo

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Plenary Speakers

Lynne Chisholm

Alan Fisher

Suniya S. Luthar

Adebayo Olukoshi

Barbara Rogoff

Jone Salomonsen

Thomas Ziehe

 

Wednesday 29 June 15.00-16.00

Barbara Rogoff

"Learning from Observation and Collaboration Within Ongoing Community Activities"

In some cultural communities, children commonly learn through keen observation of ongoing community events in which they participate with intent concentration and initiative when they are ready.  I contrast this tradition of support for children's learning with specialized lessons out of the context of productive activity - which are often organized as 'assembly-line' preparation of children for eventual adult roles.  Use of the two traditions relates to historical and cultural differences in children's opportunities to participate in cultural activities and their segregation in age-specific child-focused settings such as compulsory, extensive schooling.  I will illustrate these ideas with research in Guatemalan Mayan, Mexican heritage US and Mexican, and US European-heritage communities, as well as from an innovative US elementary school that supports children's intent participation (reported in "Learning Together," Oxford University Press, 2001).

Biography

Barbara Rogoff investigates cultural variation in learning processes and arrangements, with special interest in communities where schooling has not been prevalent.  She is particularly interested in cultural aspects of collaboration, learning through observation, children's interest and keen attention to ongoing events, roles of adults as guides or as instructors, and children's opportunities to participate in cultural activities or in age-specific child-focused settings.

She is University of California Santa Cruz Foundation Professor of Psychology and holds the UC Presidential Chair.  She has been Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Kellogg Fellow, Spencer Fellow, and Osher Fellow of the Exploratorium.  She has served as Editor of Human Development  and committee member on the Science of Learning for the U.S. National Academy of Science. Recent books include Learning Together: Children and Adults in a School Community (Oxford, 2001) and The Cultural Nature of Human Development (Oxford, 2003).


Thursday 30 June 9.00 - 10.00

Thomas Ziehe
„Post-Detraditionalization“. Reflections on a Changed Life Attitude of Today´s Youth
In the 1970´s and 80´s, youth in the so-called western countries used to follow a life attitude that could be described as heroically anti-traditonalistic. Yet, since the 1990´s, in the perspective of the young generation, this anti-tradionalistic pattern is more and more being disentchanted itself. As it seems, the heroic anti-traditionalism meanwhile has lost its identity-shaping and euphorizing power. Compared to the preceding generations, today´s youth generate quite different motives for their background convictions. Young people articulate their sense for critical life burdens no longer in a semantic of liberation from “traditional” restrictions but rather in responding to an overall experience of life world stabilities and continuities being destructured. Thus, being novel no longer is the striking promise it used to be in times of the anti-tradionalistic youth movements. This also results, at least very frequently, in an amazing détente in the relation between kids and their parents today.

Biography

Professor Dr. Thomas Ziehe, born in 1947. 1988-1993 Professor, University of Frankfurt/Main, since 1993 Professor, University of Hannover. 1996 Honorary Doctor, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His main field is youth research, focussed on impacts of cultural modernizations and subsequent changes in youth mentalities.


Thursday 30 June 15.00 - 16.00

David Buckingham

"Selling Childhood? Children and Consumer Culture"
Over the last twenty years, children have become an increasingly important consumer market. Marketers have co-opted arguments about children’s rights, representing themselves as agents of children’s empowerment as against the interests of adults. Meanwhile, campaigners seeking to protect children from consumer culture have fallen back on more conservative constructions of childhood, and on simplistic assertions about media effects. To date, much academic research in this field has been somewhat narrow and parochial. In this presentation, I will consider how we might balance out and theorise the relationship between structure and agency in children’s consumer culture; and how this might provide a more convincing basis for public policy.

Biography

David Buckingham is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, where he directs the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media (www.ccsonline.org.uk/mediacentre. He has directed several major research projects on young people's relationships with the media and on media education, and has addressed conferences on these issues in more than 25 countries worldwide. He is the author or editor of eighteen books, including Children Talking Television (1993), Moving Images (1996), The Making of Citizens (2000). After the Death of Childhood (2000), Media Education (2003) and Young People, Sex and the Media (2004).


Friday 1 July 9.00 - 10.00

Alan Flisher
"Lifestyle, risk and opportunity related to substance use and sexual behaviour of children and youth in Africa"

This presentation will review the current state of knowledge regarding the epidemiology of drug use and sexual behaviour in Africa. The reasons for such behaviour will be explored, with a focus on the applicability of theoretical models developed in high-income countries in Africa. Current intervention efforts will be reviewed, and some lessons extracted. The presentation will end with some challenges in mounting appropriate responses to the issues of drug use and unsafe sexual behaviour of children and youth in Africa.

Biography

Alan J. Flisher , M.Sc. (Clinical Psychology), M.B., Ch.B., M.Med. (Psychiatry), M.Phil. (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), Ph.D., F.C.Psych. ( S.A. ), D.C.H., is a sub-specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry. He is currently Professor and Head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Director of the Adolescent Health Research Institute at UCT, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Health Systems Research Unit at the Medical Research Council. From 1994-1996, he was a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He has had visiting appointments at Columbia University in the City of New York , the University of Oslo , and Harvard University . His principal research interests are adolescent health and mental health services research. He has served as principal investigator for a number of school-based epidemiological and intervention studies addressing diverse aspects of adolescent risk behaviour including substance use, violence and unsafe sexual behaviour. He is Director of a Research Consortium funded by the British Department for International Development entitled “Mental Health Policy Development and Implementation in Four African Countries: Breaking the Cycle of Mental Ill-health and Poverty”. He has authored over 100 original scientific papers in internationally-indexed peer review journals, 16 book chapters, and over 200 conference presentations. He is Editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. He conducts extensive policy development consultancies both nationally (for the South African Department of Health) and internationally (for the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Compensation Commission).


Friday 1 July 15.00 - 16.00

Jone Salomonsen

"Initiation to Adulthood: Rites of Passage, Deep Gifts and the Spirituality of Gender in Bilinear Norwegian Families"
In this lecture I shall approach Christian Confirmation as a traditional Norwegian Rite of passage and challenge it with kinship studies as well as multicultural and feminist critique . I will in particular discuss and contest those gifts circulating in the ritual process that are believed to make children grow and eventually become mature sexed persons, ready to choose a moral path for their life, ready to keep up the bilinear marriage institution – which is the traditional Norwegian way of life. From liturgical leaders' point of view, the rite confirms baptismal vows and is orchestrated as a religious education program that culminates with the “laying on of hands” in the house of the Lord. The gifts given are considered non-gendered and wholly spiritual: experiences of prayer, communion and sacred knowledge, of church as generous storehouse for faith-forming virtues and liturgies. From non-liturgical actors' point of view, confirmation is a prescribed, ritual exchange between young people, parents, elders, church and civil society that aims at the ultimate gift: carving, storing and trimming practical, moral and spiritual “ballast” deep inside a young person that eventually will enable her to keep life going. This gift is gendered and staged within the framework of a traditional feasting ceremony. It culminates with so-called “ballast” inducing speeches in the house of the Family.

Biography

Jone Salomonsen is Professor of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she teaches feminist theology, women/gender research, ritual studies and inter-religious movements. Her research projects include contemporary Goddess worship, Christian confirmation and Faith-based community responses to HIV-Aids. Her work is interdisciplinary and based on fieldwork in USA , Norway and South Africa . First book published in English is Enchanted Feminism. Ritual, Gender and Divinity among the Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco (Routledge 2002).


Saturday 2 July 9.00 - 10.00

Lynne Chisholm
"Generations of knowledge, knowledge of generations and the generation of knowledge"
Today’s children and young people might come to be labelled as Europe’s first full-blooded ‘knowledge generation’ insofar as they carry the insignia and the consequences of contemporary cultural and economic change in their yet-to-be-fully-realised life-courses and lifestyles. This opens a wide vista for reflection, but the focus here lies on the implications of changing modalities of the generation of knowledge, its transmission and its use, most particularly in learning settings. Such changes may also hold the potential to amend power relations as expressed through pedagogic discourse and its age-linked division of role and status. These issues are explored from three vantage-points and with respect to their possible effects on coming young generations’ learning lives: (1) new modalities of knowledge production, (2) de-standardisation of formal education and training systems and (3) internationalisation of communication and culture.

Biography

Lynne Chisholm, Univ.-Prof. Dr., holds the Chair for Education and Generation at the Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck in Austria and is Director of its Institute of Educational Sciences. A widely published specialist in education, training and youth affairs in comparative and intercultural context, she is also regularly involved in undertaking European and international studies and reports in these fields for the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Economic and Social Committee, European Parliamentary committees and the United Nations.  Following two decades as a university lecturer and professor at universities in Northern Ireland, England, Canada and Germany, she worked for five years at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture in Brussels on prospective policy development. Before returning to academic life, she spent three years working on lifelong learning at CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Education and Training) in Thessaloniki, Greece, combining this with research professorships at the University of Newcastle (UK) and then at the Danish University of Education in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is also actively involved in international professional associations and policy groups, including holding elected office [1998-2002 President of ISA RC34 (Sociology of Youth)]; 2003 nomination to the scientific advisory board of the German Youth Institute; 2004 nomination to the scientific advisory board of the Austrian Youth Research Institute; honorary lifetime member of the Nordic Youth Research Society..


Saturday 2 July 15.00 - 16.00
Suniya S. Luthar
"Resilience: Applications and Innovations"
This presentation will encompass four sets of issues. The talk will begin with a brief introduction, definitions of the construct of resilience, and delineation of the major features of research on this construct.
The second part of the talk will be focused on applications of research on resilience toward developing interventions. Here, discussions will focus on the value of using the resilience framework to guide our thinking about interventions; major principles in intervention design; and future directions in this area. The third part of the talk will address, in essence, links in the opposite direction, that is, directions for research on resilience that derive from applied considerations. The broad question addressed here is this: if scientists wish to maximize the yield of their research to ultimately benefit the children they study, what factors warrant serious thought? This question will be discussed in relation to aspects of research design, as well as issues relating to presentation of research findings. In the final section of the talk, major points from the raised in the preceding sections will be summarized and concluding comments offered.

Biography

Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Colombia University, New York, USA.


Sunday 3 July 9.00 - 10.00
Adebayo Olukoshi

"Youth and Youthhood in Africa : Some Considerations for Further Research"
The last decade and half has witnessed an increase in the level of attention devoted by the scholarly and policy communities to the study of children and the youth. One benefit of this increased attention is that there is no longer much dispute that there is indeed a Youth Question which manifests itself on a global scale. As it pertains to Africa, this Question has been studied mostly in terms first of the armed conflicts which have wracked different parts of the continent and, more recently, the toll which the HIV/AIDS pandemic is taking. Both the armed conflicts that implicate the youth and the HIV/AIDS pandemic with which they have to cope speak to bigger transformations in African society which call for an investment of research efforts, and the promotion of new terrains of inquiry that could enrich studies on the youth and the policy interventions pursued. This paper will point to some of the research challenges that are posed.

Biography

Adebayo Olukoshi graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Leeds University, England, and is Professor of International Relations. He was Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, and Programme Officer at the Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala. He is currently Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal.