Childhood and Youth Studies

TMA 02 Part A                                                                                    
In the 1950’s, folklorists Peter and Iona Opie wanted to research further the general public opinion that childhood as a culture was fading from society. The couple originally started by asking adults to think about and remember their childhood experiences and the games that they played. However, the Opie’s   felt that this was not providing enough information for their research and so decided that they would speak directly to children to ascertain how the children played, who they played with , who made the decisions as to who would join in the game and who decided the rules. The Opi’s did this by contacting teachers of 7-11 year olds and asking them to feedback after they had observed the children in the playground setting. The Opie’s felt that this method did not give them the information that they needed, so went into schools to directly speak to, observe and interact with the children.
As the photograph of Peter and Iona shows (Braggs and Kehilly, 2013 p .73), they participated in a skipping game with children in their playground environment. The image appears to show Peter and Iona enjoying taking part in the skipping game, they are both smiling. The children are smiling as they look on, watching two adults doing an activity that the children may perceive as something that is exclusively for them. It could be that Peter and Iona were embracing the memories of their own childhood by doing this or it may have been that they wanted to show the children that adults could play games and have fun as well. The image itself appears to be an innocent of children and adults interacting in an appropriate way. There does not appear to be any underlying suggestion that this was anything but pure enjoyment of a skipping game.
The Opie’s also found that rhymes and sayings that may have been recited many times by previous generations were still prevalent but had evolved to...