AELS 348 – CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
KIRSTIN CONRADIE 16107306
1. Social practice: Raising children
2. In contemporary society the discourse regarding the raising of children is primarily focused on developmental appropriateness, meaning that there exists a general awareness of the developmental sensitivity of children (childhood being a developmentally sensitive period). Contrasting this with the sentiment of “children must be seen and not heard” of a few decades ago, it becomes evident that our understanding of this practice is historical. In society today raising children is discussed along the lines of socialization, family life (the composition of the family), the specified medical field of paediatrics, child psychology, developmental psychology, education etc.
There are certain actors taking part in certain activities that constitute rearing children, but because this is such an extensive social practice I cannot provide an exhaustive list. A core example would be; married couples becoming pregnant (obviously the woman falls pregnant and the husband plays a role therein), the child being born and the couple then providing physical and emotional care for this child. However, children can be put up for adoption, couples don’t have to be married to have children and the conception of the activity of “care” is interpretable. Perhaps a good core role player would be the notion of a ‘care-giver’ provides the care to raise a child.
In popular culture there has arisen an interest in the effective practice of discipline with regards to children, evidenced in television shows such as Oprah where discourses regarding ‘problem children’ confer techniques to better raise ‘difficult’ children. Words/diagnoses such as ADD or ADHD have become popular classifications for children who struggle to function in a classroom context. There are very many discursive features regarding the practice of raising children, especially because childhood...
References: Lemke, J . L. (1995). Textual politics: Discourse and social dynamics. London: Taylor and Francis
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