Frances Chaput Waksler
Through the years I have developed a variety of different exercises to accompany the chapters of this book. They can serve as the basis for papers, class presentations, or simply informal discussions and can be carried out at various levels of expertise. Below are listed exercises that have proved useful, instructive, and enjoyable. Further ideas are provided in the index entry ‘sociological study, suggestions for’.
Examine one’s own childhood in terms of those things that were taught by agents of socialization. Distinguish between those that were/were not accepted and that do/do not constitute a part of one’s present day life. Direct attention to the following questions: Do you do everything you were taught to do, be, think, etc.? How do you choose which teachings to accept and which to reject?
Gather historical and/or current information on children engaged in productive economic work. (The illegality of child labor in many countries should not obscure the fact that children nonetheless engage in a wide range of productive work activities.) Seek specific details of the work that children can do and use that data as a basis for examining some of the many competencies of children. Child labor laws are one useful source of data.
Use these chapters as methodological and theoretical guides in conducting studies of children.