Sociology

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Of Hopscotch and Little Girls Stolen Childhood shows little girls from countries all over the world dealing with the same issues. These issues range from child labor to sexual abuse. Young girls from places such as, India, Yemen, Haiti, and Peru were all interviewed and shared some very similar experiences. These girls aged 8 to 14 share the same hardships and hopes for a better life.

The Video displays several key sociology concepts from our readings and lecture materials. One key concept is Culture, and how it impacts the lives of the young girls in the film. Culture is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a people’s way of life. One young girl from India was already engaged to be married, all at the tender age of 10. She had no idea who her husband to be was. She was concerned about the treatment she would endure from this man and her in-laws. She was preparing herself to be a slave to her husband and in-laws. This illustrated how her culture viewed the engagement of such a young girl as a societal norm. Norms are rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. This young girl was already working at this young age collecting rubbish on the streets of India to help her family. In her culture working at a young age is a norm, in our culture that would be considered a mores or a taboo. A mores is a term coined by William Graham Sumner, an early U.S. sociologist. Sumner recognized that some norms are more important than others. Mores and taboos are norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance.

A 12-year-old girl from Burkina Faso expressed her displeasure with her grandmother and mother after undergoing a female circumcision. Some cultures would view this practice as a form of child abuse and violence against young girls, while others seem to think it’s a right of passage to womanhood or a religious practice. The young girl talked about how she had no...
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