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The Ecology of ChildhoodHow Our Changing World Threatens Children's Rights$
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Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794845

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794845.001.0001

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The Magic of Mesosystems, Seedbeds of Solidarity

The Magic of Mesosystems, Seedbeds of Solidarity

(p.74) 4 The Magic of Mesosystems, Seedbeds of Solidarity
The Ecology of Childhood

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

NYU Press

Chapter four explores how the activities and relationships occurring in the spaces where microsystems overlap function as seedbeds of solidarity, generating a shared sense of identity, fostering social cohesion and transforming “other people’s children” into “our children.” The author focuses on interactions among the primary social institutions comprising children’s microsystems: family, faith community, school, peer group, and neighbourhood. Drawing on observations from the villages under study, the author illustrates the dynamic created when these social institutions cooperate, collaborate and even engage in friendly competition in support of the community’s children. The chapter highlights the role of rituals and traditions in building community identity and solidarity in both villages. It explores how village identity can endure across time and distance in migrants’ attachments to their home towns. In closing, it predicts further erosion of community identity due to global economic policies and divisive political movements.

Keywords:   Mesosystem, Microsystem, Family, Faith community, Identity, School, Peer Group, Solidarity, Social cohesion

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