Children, culture and society

Children, culture and society

“What we will be is there, in its configuration and its objects. Nothing in the open and walking world can replace the enclosed space of our childhood, where something happened that made us different and still endures and that we can rescue when we remember that place in our house. ”Julio Ramón Ribeyro".


  • 1 Children and culture
  • 2 Childhood disorders in today's society
  • 3 The transitional objects of Winnicott in childhood
  • 4 The importance of language
  • 5 Children of today, our social future

Childhood and culture

Etymologically the word childhood comes from the Latin word "infans" which means the one who does not speak based on the verb "for" (speak, say). Childhood cannot be summed up to a definition; It is the permanent construction of the social and cultural, which determines the lives of infants. In that sense, children's culture has been interwoven from a field of entertainment, support, and pleasure, which are found to build notions of what it means to be a child. Occupying a position that translates into gender, race, and class, which allows a definition from the other. That is the children's world is woven from the sociocultural postures of a country, and of the world. However, children's culture continues to be ignored especially in the world of children's films, who have been responsible for homogenizing it and establishing roles that the family and school do not clearly give. For this purpose it is necessary that the family and the school begin to make sense of the children's voice from their needs, tastes and interests, which will help them to be critical, and purposeful, in the face of the different scenarios that present them. That is, what is required a childhood that treats children as a social, cognitive, physical, and moral subject, not a passive being characterized by consumerism. Consumerism that has been relegating those games such as sweet tooth, strikeouts, stop, etc., distorting the child's interaction with his peers, and his imagination process, forcing him to fulfill expectations of adultcentrism.

Childhood disorders in today's society

What causes the child to suffer from being frustrated, anxious, guilty, etc., that does not belong to him. Establishing it as an object of the generational desire of adults who have not been able to understand that He is a subject with his own voice, and demands his own wishes. So much is the damage done to the child, which manifests it in their eating behaviors, their interpersonal relationships, and their academic processes. Symptoms that end in psychiatrists and psychologists, that many times they medicate a child that the only thing he was screaming for was to calm his discomfort in the face of an event of culture.

From a culture that needs to be seen from different visions since all children are not equal, so it is necessary to use different tools provided by the transculturality between them:

  1. The Intercultural: The therapist and the patient are immersed in the same culture. However, the therapist will take into account the socio-cultural dimensions of the patient's problems and the development of therapy,
  2. Intercultural: The therapist and the patient are not immersed in the same culture, but the therapist knows their patient's culture, and uses it as a therapeutic instrument and
  3. Metacultural: The therapist and the patient are immersed in two different cultures. The therapist does not know the culture of his patient but understands the notion of culture and uses it to establish the diagnosis and treatment of his patient. In this regard it should be said that these instruments will be effective as long as the child's self prevails from a continuous dialogue that allows him to understand who he is, and without forgetting, that adults do not lose their role by understanding the events that the infant is going through.

The transitional objects of Winnicott in childhood

Something else must be added to this approach to culture from the approaches of Winnicott (1993), who establishes transitional objects and phenomena. Transitional objects are the process of acquiring the ability to accept differences and similarities. Taking into account that an expression can be used that designates the root of the symbolism in time, which describes the child's journey, from the pure subjective to the objectivity; and the transitional object (piece of blanket, etc.) is what is seen from that journey of progress towards experience. That is to say, transitional objects constitute only the visible manifestation of a particular space of experience that is not defined as totally subjective nor as completely objective. In the case of transitional phenomena, they represent the first stages of the use of illusion without which it makes no sense to the human being that idea of ​​a relationship with an object that others perceive as external to that being. The truth is that this space is not interior to the psychic apparatus, but neither does it belong entirely to external reality; and constitutes the intermediate field in which both the game and other cultural experiences will be developed. From these circumstances is born the fact that Transitional objects and phenomena are fundamental to the experience that child will build, which will later become an adult.. Adult who will face various cultural phenomena that will be mediated from the positions acquired since childhood, and thus consolidate into a critical, and purposeful, subject of its context. Given that human beings are made of stories, they carry a cultural seal that allows them to continue in different scenarios.

The importance of language

With all of the above, language is essential for understanding the world in which the child lives. Well it is thanks to the language that the child reaches an understanding of the meaning of the social world in which he interacts, with the purpose of becoming a competent member of society. Undoubtedly, language is essential for human life, thanks to it, notions as important as mathematics, art, games, provide reading in words of great thoughts and accomplishments. That is to say, that the language goes from symbol and signs to a warm, and emotional narration, that men who once were children make are passionate about the word. However, also often, the media establish family and child behavior from a commercial marketing logic that seeks to increase the differentiation of the company that broadcasts the programs. What leads to from the language the systems of values ​​are summoned, which stabilize, consolidate and transform, the belief systems that are shared in a discursive field. Beliefs that are not always adequate in a world that poses challenges every day, when facing otherness. In which it is necessary to rethink and enrich the relationships of children, and adults, as protagonists of the relationship. A relationship that is measured by social participation, not by consumer participation which is the anthem of the neoliberal states, which instead of generating participatory subjects generates consumers or customers.

The children of today, our social future

The task has to focus on thinking of childhood as a space or place where the appropriate conditions are generated to initiate infants into social life. It is they who over the years will be social actors. Social actors that are constituted by a plurality of worlds that are born from words, that represent or symbolize the events that children experience. The word has been considered as the tool that humans use to get closer to each other, to understand that in their walk the stories are intertwined. That is, the word as a construction of the imagination of the peoples who have made their events a future. In that sense children have been building their worlds from music, literature, poetry, the latter as an instrument of recovery of a divided, fragmented world. Poetry and philosophy were separated in a chaotic moment from the non-narrable history of thought, which makes poets have the task of uniting thinking with feeling, loving with creating. That way they make infants implement knowledge with affection, which makes their growth not only individual but group, which translates into that exchange of strengthening values, overcoming frustrations, and possible mistakes. In this respect, it should be said that school and family work should focus on teaching thinking, reflecting, analyzing, and ordering thinking. To teach to think is to teach to doubt, to question, to question, to ask questions, and to look for solutions. That is, to teach infants to think is to reconcile understanding with the application, is to look for the positive, negative and interesting aspects of things, is to blow the imagination to dream about the future, is to interpret and is also to unlearn schemas They have lost validity.


Winnicott, D. (1993). Human Nature Editorial Paidós Deep Psychology. Barcelona, ​​Spain.