Role of society, culture and politics in children’s lives | Laissez-Passer
Role of society, culture and politics in children’s lives
Children live in the middle of the world and thus in the middle of a culture, a society, and political events. The educational area “culture, society, and politics” is about enabling the children to actively shape their coexistence with others.
The term society is generally used to describe the way people live together in a certain territory or a “cultural area”, which is always also historically and culturally determined. Society encounters children in communities outside of the family such as day-care centers, sports clubs, and schools. Here children can find out how such communities organize themselves, what they give, and what they demand. Here they can learn to experience their own influence and to take responsibility. Social engagement begins in day-care centers.
Culture as the background to all educational processes has already been described in the cross-sectional dimension of intercultural orientation. Children are involved in cultural processes and rites, they observe exactly how the world is designed around them. In this way, they gradually acquire world knowledge about what will be natural for them from now on: what is right – what is wrong, what is beautiful – what is ugly, what is familiar – what is strange, what tastes – what does not taste good, what is important – what is unimportant. For instance, they can answer the harry potter quiz in school. In the context of cultural education, children acquire orientations that also influence future educational processes: about the relationship between the sexes, about norms and values, about cultural forms of expression, and much more. You often only notice what constitutes culture when your own cultural self-evident encounter other self-evident – another culture. But culture is also constantly changing. What was taken for granted for the grandparents is no longer today.
Coexistence is shaped by politics. Different interests and goals are decided politically for example in certain committees. In a democracy, politics is understood as equal, free discussion and negotiation of joint decisions by citizens in the public and direct and representative processes and bodies. In a multicultural society, the different things that are taken for granted, experiences, and ideas about living together make demands on children and their families. If these topics are consciously perceived and designed in day-care centers, children can acquire skills in dealing with them at an early age.