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Youth Violence

Essay by   •  October 5, 2010  •  Essay  •  3,720 Words (15 Pages)  •  1,895 Views

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Our Future

Children today have no one to turn to for guidance. Our country's children are our future; therefore, we need to protect them. Anyone can turn on their TV and see an act of school violence almost weekly: Arkansas grade school students to Columbine High School. We have a serious problem on our hands and no one seems to know what to do. "Our insight that the modern study of childhood has sharpened in great detail concerns that matter in which infant, later growing child, is shaped, molded by those who are in charge of him [/her]. We now know a good deal about the way in which infancy and early childhood serves as a matrix ... for everything the particular individual will be and think in later life. In these early years of life, to put simply, both personality (or identity) and consciousness are formed ... And that of course is why the institutional setting of this process is of such great importance." (Berger and Berger 149-150). We, as Americans, need to group together to teach our kids the basic thing that separates us from animals: common love and understanding. Children need the time of the people who influence their lives so profoundly -- their parents. Americans have created a state of total anomie for our children. They are not part of our world. They need to become a part. Functionalists would say that it is the schools, the family or the government. It is the goal of this paper to touch on the three things that influence our kids the most: family, schools, and corporations. This paper will clearly point out how each of these three parts is in fact one big whole. If these three things begin to work together then maybe, just maybe there can be hope for our children. Functionalism will only work if these three things are one. The three must come together if future America is going to survive.

The bourgeois family is going to be used as a basis. The home is America's temple. Since America has been founded, the middle-class family is thought of as the father, the mother and then the children. Father goes off to work everyday and does his job. The mother stays home all day and takes care of the house making sure the children grow up with good "All-American" values. She is responsible for keeping in contact with the teachers and expected to know what their kids are doing in school. The father is not supposed to be involved. He is busy trying to keep food on the table. Mom tells the kids how important the learning process is and keeps them motivated. The children come home everyday, eat their snack and mother makes sure the schoolwork is done. Dad comes home later and they all eat dinner together. Children learn love and responsibility from values in stowed on them by their parents. This is the happy bourgeois family.

Unfortunately this is not what is happening anymore. Anyone that deviates from this outrageous dominant norm carries bad stigma. Hard working Americans are labeled as individuals who cannot succeed and need to be thrown by the wayside. Remember the term "dysfunctional family"? Psychologists "overuse [d] the term dysfunctional to refer to even the smallest problems in the family unit. As such, the term [became] relatively meaningless". (Donatelle and Davis 138). In other words we, as Americans, threw it out because everyone became dysfunctional. The dysfunctional family became our nation's norm. Still, the dominant norm of the bourgeois family rang over our head. We labeled ourselves as deviant. Using Lemert's theory, our American families turned into primary deviation. Then secondary deviation occurred when we began to let our children run our household. As stated in the beginning a "growing child, is shaped, molded by those who are in charge of him [/her]." (Berger and Berger 48). If the child is in charge who will shape and mold his/her?

Let us take a look at the average "happy" married family of today. Father and mother both work nine to five jobs. Kids come home to an empty house and watch TV. The house is a mess, which stresses Mom out. Dad comes home and wants to eat dinner with the family. Mom's busy trying to straighten up the house and the kids are out doing whatever it is they want to do. Dad ends up eating whatever Mom throws together real quick. The kids come home whenever they please because the parents want some time to do whatever it is they could not do the day before. He she compensates them with materials making our children product oriented.

What about a single parent family? Kids go off to school, and the parent goes off to work. The kids get out of school before the parent does. They get sent off to some daycare with twenty-five kids to one person who is getting paid minimum wage. The parent gets home late, because he/she has to work 60 hours a week. Best-case scenario is that the kids want to get involved in an extra curricular activity and those are very limited. The parent is tired and stressed out from work, and he/she feels bad because he/she cannot spend time with his/her children.

How are children going to learn anything without their parents? Children are at risk to get thrown by the wayside by their own parents. Parents have to take charge of their children and teach them to grow and become human beings. Jean Piaget did a study of growth and knowledge in child development. In it he states that "children are active and motivated learners" (Eggen and Kauchak 27). The parents need to teach them. There is not another way! The parents have to put their children first. They can no longer be a distant second in their parent's life. We all know being happy is a strong virtue, but without the happiness of our children there will be no peace. The parents have to bring their children up. No one else is going to show each child the love and understanding a parent can. "There is no viable alterative to the bourgeois family for the raising of children who will have a good chance of being responsible ... individuals, nor do we see alterative arrangements by which adults, from youth to old age, will be given a stable context for the affirmation of themselves and their values." (Berger and Berger 167). In essence, it is not to be said to scrap the whole idea of the dominant norm, bourgeois, family and start over again. They have carried our country this far. The reason they worked is because they created a stable environment. A stable environment needs to be our ultimate goal. To recreate this environment our parents have to be home when their children come home. If fortunate enough to have two parents in the same household, then both parents need to work together to solve this dilemma. The only solution is to spend more time at home.

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