This theory board is an argument based off of the findings of my first case study that was conducted during an Ethnographic Field Methods course in the fall of 2016. Village Method operating under the ideals of practice theory is my response to the information collected during the study.
My case study aimed to better understand the experiences of adolescent sexuality with specific focus on the female gender. After participant observation, semi-structured interviews and going through the process of producing an ethnographic text I decided to take it a step further with what I found. During the recession of 2007 spanning through 2009 the number of stay at home mothers dramatically declined. In seeing this trend I questioned what actors where playing what roles in the American adolescents life. Writing from the adolescent’s point of view was my original aim but found only limited access to the minors and their opinions to create a fuller picture.
I did have access to their parents though. I spent time speaking with them and the teachers that I later found were also major roles throughout the child’s life. In the changing of parental demands to provide economically for a family I decided to explore the effects. After I formed my narrative I found clear differences’ between the parent perspectives and teacher perspectives. I found that in combining Sherry Ortner’s feminist sociological thought, with the ideas of Alfred Radcliffe-Brown’s functionalist perspective, and Pierre Bourdieu’s take on cultural production theory. These three lines of though come together in understanding going forward how the United States can start looking to ensure better emotional care for its children.
In the conclusions of my case study male children were cited as much more physically expressive in their frustrations while female children were not only more apt to begin noticing feelings of attraction but that they experience this emotions much more internally becoming consumed by what they are feeling taking on more of a emotional distress. This is not to leave the reports of male children out, they’re actions were reported just as detrimental but they are less aware of why they are acting out as one teacher explained and seem to be less worried about self-reflection.
In seeing the changing dynamics of parent’s time with their children we must see how this impacts the child. One factor cannot change without having an affect on the other. Feminist sociology seeks to understand the relationship between gender and power, functionalist perspective in this interpretation understands that a social structure is an arrangement of institutionalized relationships and roles. If these relationships and roles change, the social structure changes, and lastly cultural production theory takes the fields of education, anthropology, and sociology to build and work of literature examining how teachers unconsciously process subliminal class and cultural messages to hierarchize their students. These three components I believe show first that structures have changed, we must look at gender relations to power and also with teachers and educators playing a larger role in children’s lives we must understand their ability to influence and help adolescents navigate.