E212 Places Shaping Behaviour

How do places shape children’s behaviour? How do children shape the places they inhabit?

This essay will examine how a place shapes children’s behaviour and the role it plays in determining a child’s experiences and understanding of life. I shall begin by defining the term ‘place’ and its growing interest to researchers. Following this I will look at how environments such as the family within the home and school are all places that are central to the shaping of children’s behaviour. Following on from this I will further explore how children and young people are viewed in different environments and how they shape them to reflect their needs.Throughout this exploration I will refer to several theorists whose research has brought together ideas and concepts, from which conclusions can be drawn, regarding the relationship between place and childhood.

Place and space, which children occupy, form part of the new socio-cultural study branded ‘children’s geography’ which incorporates the study of places where children live their lives and the role it takes in shaping their experiences. It offers an additional way of understanding children from the child’s point of view. This field of study is not restricted to geographers as there is a growing field of research within the study of childhood and youth.
The term ‘place’ is a concept derived from how we experience our surroundings. It is a space invested with meaning and has identity in its own right. An example of a place may be, for instance, a park bench where youths might congregate at certain times, interrelating and socialising.
These places have no boundaries and those inhabiting them may soak up influences and connections of what is happening around them. They are ‘specific sites of meaning (Philo 2000 cited in Clark 2013)’.

The home is a place central to family life and links family members to their past childhood and future generations. Growing up is a space specific experience. For instance it is a...