Exploring the child's world; Anomie
The child is father to the man as we hope for a world of men of good will. We must look to the conditions of the child's world to achieve it. So we search for the laws ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously whole adult. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although Father Francis Duffy chairman of the Department of Sociology of Duquesne University was not at first looking for this light when he started working with the disturbed child he found however that it is not that the disturbed a delinquent child is completely removed from society. Rather that his position is more extreme and so its obviousness offers us a sharper clearer insight into the world of children to share the fruit of his research funded duffing into Kane University presents a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion in which the child and his problems are explored for insight. Here is Father Duffy to preview the problems of this child who speaks in exploring the
child's world. Father Duffy. Last week we began a tentative exploratory list of complaints which children registered against their parents and adults in general. The first is that adults scream at them and of course they scream back. The children complain that they are not trusted. Another pattern we saw is the re creation of the black sheep. Another pattern is implied in the complaint of children that adults do not make them feel important or worthwhile. Parents often identify a love with the giving of material things and having given the children these things they feel that they their job is complete. Children complain that parents do not let them test their ideas or behavior plans at home. These plans are met with cautions and criticisms and warnings. Another complaint of children is that parents don't listen to them. Children complain that their parents over
direct them or that they are too permissive. Very often in the juvenile court we will come across a parent who complains that they they have given everything to the child and now this is what the child does back to them. Some parents are too rigid. They will pursue a course of child training long after it's apparent to everyone else that this isn't working. Somewhat jocosely I compare this to the man whose trousers are too short and he sends him to the tailor the tailor looks at them and cuts off an inch. They try them again or a shorter yet so he cuts off two inches. How long is it going to take the tailor to see it what he's doing is not solving the problem but rather contributing to it. Very often parents will pursue a plan of action long after it's obvious to everybody else that it isn't working. One evidence is striking a child. When this doesn't work they feel well they haven't they haven't hit him hard enough to hit him hard of the next time and that doesn't work very often such a child runs at children
again rapidly detect not being wanted or not being welcome. They detect rejection very easily and rapidly. Their children complain when they are compared with other children especially when the child in question is on the losing side of the comparison. A final complaint is that there are certain unfair practices engaged in by adults in their relationship with children. If things are imposed on children that aren't fair. The girl in the following interview Tony is a 16 year old Italian Protestant child. Her mother ran off with a man when Tony was quite young. She was farmed out with relatives when the father remarried she has moved back into the household. The stepmother works both parents drink to excess. They dislike Tony apparently they give her nothing. They beat her up in her blind flight from them she has quit school moved out of the House got an apartment. She has tried
suicide and more recently has taken up with a married negro man nine years older than herself. He has three children and apparently was recruiting her into the white slavery. The girl is perplexed and mixed up she feels that her life is ruined by things over which she has no direct control. Her outlook seems to be warped around the idea of getting even with her parents for the way that they have treated her. She is a fairly hazardous risk in the area of suicide. She has no friends her own age. What happens to such a girl. Frankly we do not know. Unfortunately I don't think she appreciates the fact that she has been saved from a terrible fate. Certainly she does not welcome interference in our life plans though they are desperate and vague and uncertain. Let's listen as we further explore the child's world. Your name is Tony and how old are you Tony. 16 is this your first time you've been in detention. Second does it
bother you to talk about your problem. No. See my mother works at this nightclub. I see she's a waitress and what she waits in does some cooking. She goes to work in the late afternoon and just about the time my dear it's coming home from work every Saturday night they both get paid and they go out drinking. Came in about five o'clock in the morning. There always are Ewing the first thing she'll do is commune and pick on me because she doesn't like me. She starts screaming alright house. She always does that she nags on things. I mean she really gets violent she grabs you about my hair and throws me around and when I go to get her back my dad takes her port. This is your real dad or stepfather. My real father and stepmother. How many other children. There's four girls and two boys and the fourth oldest. And you want to know how the older ones moved out gotten married. Do you think that your parents criticize you much too much your they don't approve of you or they don't approve of me. Don't they ever show you that they like you or that they
want you around. You think they're unfair in the way they treat you worse or that the punishments are. Yeah. Yeah because one right my father just took me and slam me up against the wall. You know my head was all swarming like I was black and blue and everything. And I didn't I didn't think it was fear. And then I lost my job. I was staying away from home. I was drinking. In this one like my father and brother had this big fight before it. And I told him I wasn't coming home so I left for the night and I didn't come back the next morning I went straight to work. He was I sick. I had been drinking pretty heavy the night before and the druggist noticed the ground my breath and told me I was for I was afraid to tell my father so I didn't. But then I did and he beat me again and made me go back to school and come home every day right after school. And I just figured I couldn't take it so I up and left.
And this is the first time you were in trouble. You know it was the first time. What it this time. My boyfriend was going back to army camp so I stayed with him but we didn't do anything. Not that I know of anyway. I was asleep part of the time. Some of the girls told me that you can't trust boys when you're asleep. And so I don't know I couldn't say for sure. The nurse said it couldn't happen. I don't know. I'm afraid what the nurse said didn't wholly reassure you then. Nurse I don't know. I am so afraid. The sick this experience is a kind of a source of worry to us. You know because my girlfriend told me that I look like I was pregnant. I don't know anything about sex I'm afraid you're afraid you might be pregnant now you know. Well there are tests that can show that. I know but I'm afraid I don't want to. You're even afraid of the test.
I would be so. Because one time last time I was arrested they gave me a test like that and it hurt. It did and I'm afraid of it now I said. And this fellow is going away now the one that you stayed with. He's out of the army now. How long ago was this. It was about three months ago. See that my he was leaving for Kenya for getting out of the service and he had to go out West and he's coward. See I was staying at this house with my girlfriend and I never even thought a carboy of going with him. You know she was she was right but then I saw her husband. He was coward. They aren't married. Oh I see. I thought they were but they weren't. Then my mother would call me all kinds of big names like I told you and everything your mother and father drink a lot.
And now you find yourself drinking too much too don't you. Yes. I don't know when you're drinking everything seems nice and it slows you down relaxes you. Well when you're not drinking and ordinary You feel pretty tense and nervous. Will you always that way or what. I used to be easy going into your sea when I was about 6 or 7 my father got remarried again and what have been your mother before that. They're divorced. We went from one row to another until my father from me remarried. They have their own daughter and my mother my stepmother like likes her more than me and she always shows it everything she does right. Everything I do is wrong. You find it unpleasant to be compared with somebody else especially if you are on the losing end of the comparison. You know she doesn't like any of us except her own kids. I don't know what to do about any of this. I asked my father when I was working and if I could get in a problem with three or
four other girls and he said no because he didn't think I was mature enough I guess. Maybe he feels that he can't trust you on your own because of the drinking for one thing and because you keep company with Negroes and apparently he doesn't approve of that he accepts. Now I told him if you didn't like it he could go and never see me again. And he said go ahead but change your name don't use my SO is a negro man thinking about marrying you or is he just a boyfriend or what. He asked me if I would. And what did you tell him. He just has a legal separation from his way. He's married already. Yes he's 25. Does he have any children. Well yes three girls. And these three little girls they they look like negroes too. Yes they would be yours that will always keep them. They view mine.
But you wouldn't mind us. No I wouldn't mind it because I thought I seen his baby's his wife's terrible I mean I hate her. I don't know the girl but I hate her. They were married everything was fine for about a year and then she started going out with other men and stuff like that. And he would come home and he would find her babies by themselves food or a room in the house with or during his wife would be in the bedroom getting ready to go out where she would be able to really icy. And she would take the food money and spend it on where she dress or something. This made you feel sorry for him. I didn't even know he was married for. About three months I guess and then he told me. I said what religion is he this. I think you'd be up to a Methodist. What are you proudest of. What kind of person do you know I went to the nearest church. You told me before you had worked for a while.
I reinserted for it in the store. What do you think's going to happen to you now. I'm going to wait channel my father who said he wants me but I told him I wasn't going back because if I went back the same thing would happen over again and as soon as I got in the door my mother would start preachin and say all this stuff and she would come home drunk and she must've have come home seven times drunk since I was home for two weeks. Seven eight times and pulled me out of bed. My father nearly strangled her he was so man I was secure and her own daughter told her she hated her she was always picking on me and everything. And you kind of hit her back too. I don't know. I always I was always jealous of my sister but we always get along real good from your point of view then your father and mother never really sit down listen to you Do they must make a very pleasant place to live. You know my worker went and looked at it and she said it wasn't a
pleasant place to live because I used to scrub the floors. You know there's no covering on them. They're just plain would never want to share anything and splinters come out of my hands and everything. And I told my mom we should get something and she says Oh you always want this new always wants there. We never have anything in stuff like there. They threw us out our other house they had a share sale because we couldn't keep up the payments. I see. And I know my father clears 140 would weaken my mother makes a good fifty five dollars. That's almost that's $200 coming in a week and are still behind. So they must drink it away. That's the only way I can think it will happen to it. You know I guess that's I don't know. How far did you get in school Tony. I guess about the ninth grade. Did you like it. Oh I got good
grades in school but I never hear any closer to we're in I never went to a football game because I never had a price of a target. You feel like they really didn't want you. I don't know I think my father really didn't want any children. I told my father I didn't think you should've been married and he said he didn't think so either. I asked him why he got married twice. He said he got married the first time because he thought he was in love. And the second time we got married was to support us kids. He said he was in love with her then. Would you say he was in love with her now. So I don't know. Maybe what you needed was a good set of parents. I don't know. I never used to be with her pride and not really glow but the kids that used to go drinking and stuff because I only started drinking in the past year before that. I was never a past 12:30 or innocent and I
always tried to stay good in them. And then when you start to wear or sherry clothes at school everything the kids think. You gang around with those barrack years and then they start telling stories about you. There's nothing you can do. So I told my father I want to quit school because there are such stories going around about me. But it wasn't true. They said I was no good. You know I went out with all kinds of boys and did all kinds of things. They used to come up and grab me. Like in the back and they used to say how about a date and stuff like that and I stick it off was you know because I was afraid to do anything. You know I quit school because of the stories I didn't have anyone to turn to. So I tried killing myself. And what did you do to kill yourself. I threw off enough of my clothes and no bill for the car remember it is this car coming at me with big kid lights. I
was in the rust. For but eight hours and they were rubbing me stuff on me. Do you think you're out of your mind at times. I think so. You don't really remember what did happen except that you were excited and nervous and worried apprehensive. Yeah. Ever since then I've been having all kinds of tension for about a year. You had pretty good reason to be tense I think. What kind of parent you like that. I don't know. My parents are trying to be younger I think I don't know. They're always in for a good time. They never sit down and talk to us. And when they do it's always about sex or something you know and you never brought anything healthy. I mean I don't know. Well someone you can talk to or something when everyone else is against you you can count on them because I you know I have to have someone to turn to because I don't
like to be by myself. I don't know I can't stand to hear you know a whole bunch of people yelling and shouting that's the way it is in our house. Just like a dog race or something. I don't know. And do you shout back. I didn't used to. I used to just stand there and look at her and she'd say Don't look at me that like I have to hear ads or something. So I started shouting back. Loose often happens I think that shouting parents generate shock in children she started to shout at you now you shop or do anything else. I think it really is time for us to get back. OK. And now joining from the doctor to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Professor Chester agers ack of the Sociology Department of Education University here are Father Duffy And Professor Jerzy back. We welcome back again Professor George back to discuss this case today of Tony.
We have seen in the various theories of delinquency and criminality that one of them that was always comes up again is the old one of anime and what would be your translation for that. Mr. James I mean it's rather difficult to translate words from foreign languages we have a number of words like that but I think several that are used to translate one is that it's a situation of normal listeners but I think another one that can be applied to this is a situation of role lessness no other words we can apply the word enemy to possibly situations where their norms are sort of lacking or they're in a state of disorganization and same way with roles. The part that we're supposed to play just as well as the rules by which we're supposed to play and in a case of Tony a 16 year old girl.
She doesn't have the rules to play I don't think that it's so much that she's around with bad friends and bad situations which there are but also that I think she doesn't know what are the rules by which one plays what is she supposed to do. Her case history shows this. She has a mother who was a waitress in a nightclub and then on weekends when her mother could be with her her mother and dad go out and drink. Come late into the home. And. She speaks of having been beaten on the face so badly that she would have to use some kind of powders and so on to cover the beatings that she gets. She runs away and she stays with an interracial family. Actually this family is a common law type of family.
And she herself is involved in interracial friendship which our society has great difficulty in accepting which produces further confusion and in her mind other words in United States today were having a great difficulty in negro white relationships and Tony bears this out. It produces then a kind of a normal US situation as such. Yes I think too that the child expressed this pretty carefully when she said that her father didn't mind this anymore of course he doesn't mind he hates it. He said he doesn't mind it anymore but she has to change her name. I think this expresses his complete disapproval of her going around with his young negro man who has been married and has several children and has abandoned his wife. She's very defensive of him too that his wife was no good and she hated her although she had never seen her.
Coupled with this you have the home situation there the mother and father do not have norms of their own they drink a great deal. The mother and father together make about 200 dollars a week and they never give this child any clothing the last was that she had were purchased by a grandmother seven years ago. The parents and nag and scream they don't approve of her they don't they apparently don't like each other they certainly don't like the child. I thought it was an interesting too that this is a remarriage the father was married before and that the child pointed out to him that that he should've gotten married he agreed with her he should not have gotten married. He didn't want any children he didn't want her and he has Harry still doesn't want her. And I feel that there is an almost complete absence of understanding here and in this sort of situation that this child faces I suppose you and I would feel this way too that if we were in a place that didn't want us and didn't like us and they put up rather rigid rules for us to follow I'm sure that we would try to break
out. Yes in fact the situation is extremely serious because Tony towards the end of her story tells us that she even attempted to commit suicide do away with her self by going out half naked barefoot in the snow was frozen and taken to hospital revived. So it shows how pretty pretty serious this kind of thing can be and we are having a great difficulty in the kind of world that we live with its complexity of being able to play the different kind of roles performed a various kinds of roles that we are called upon and if we dont know exactly what these roles are or if we have many choices to make and we dont know how to make the choices this complicates the matter and the problem further just the matter of. Of the number of rows is bad enough but if you do not know how
to perform these rows or if they have many choices and you don't know how to make choices how to distribute your time you are in great difficulty and in Tony's case I don't think that she understands fully what the daughter means or what a father or mother is to start with me. And they themselves do not help her at all in the way they treat her or the way they look at her or their attitude towards her and it drives her further and further into a state of disorganization. I don't to you Would you agree with me that in dealing with people like this who are delinquent or criminal when they're adults it isn't just a matter of role violation they are not just bad people who are going to violate rules and norms there are other things to this a role confusion. And there is a failure to understand what one's role is a failure to recognize the expectations. There might even be failure to be able to carry out the expectations some people just
cannot do what they're supposed to do. Yes just stay the whole business of getting youngsters to agree to the rules is a problem. I don't think that you can get them to agree simply by authority or simply by punishment that they also must somehow learn to understand the value behind these things. And I think in a family of this sort that is somewhat disorganised it's so easy to resort to simple brute authority or brute punishment to get a person to conform to a particular way of life. And this is unfortunate I am not saying that authority and sanctions are not important in the behavior of youngsters but just two. Place emphasis on knows things and never to try to educate a child to see the value behind these things is a very unfortunate thing in my case in that Tony I think we have an example where brute authority and brute punishment
is used to shape a youngster and it doesn't shape the youngster just as I'm sure the lack of any authority any sanctions any values certainly would not shape a youngster well and would lead to a delinquency problem. It's an extreme in in both directions. It seems to me I don't know if if there are many such instances in looking over the cases that you've had in many years of the court. Is it often in the cases of extremist far's obeying or disobeying rules goes. I think so to summarize it probably would be lack of balance. Then there's too much of one thing and not enough of another. Well sometimes there isn't enough of anything. This represents then a very interesting case that we have handled today to discuss trying to get some new insights into this case of Tali a young white girl who was involved in sexually and in a variety of other ways with
people and many of them are negroes the girl is quite mixed up she has as a very young child thought of suicide has attempted once and has been picked up by the police and taken to the hospital. She makes a very strong friendships on the basis of very weak bonds and everything that she tries seems to turn out badly for her. She's pretty discouraged. She's pretty mixed up and she's pretty confused and disappointed with life. I'd like to thank Professor Jerzy prepaying with us today and also those at the Juvenile Court who have cooperated in making this program possible. You have been listening to exploring the child's world in a program in which the child speaks from the French a stuffy chairman of the sociology department at UK university has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world it in the discussion with his guest Professor Chester agers Act also at the Department of Sociology at UK and.
And. God. This has been a production of the radio services education universities technical direction by Frederick Williams your announcer has been a hero tonight. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's word of. The. Week with. The interview heard on this program was a recreation exploring the child's world is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end I ybe Radio Network.
- Exploring the child's world
- Producing Organization
- Duquesne University
- WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- This program focuses on anomie, the concept that society doesn't provide enough moral guidance to children and others.
- Series Description
- Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
- Broadcast Date
- Media type
Interviewee: Jerzak, Chester A.
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-27-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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