Speaker William Corsaro
Affiliation Indiana University
Host Tamara Pesik
Date recorded 19 October 2004
How do we know what the next generation of software users cares about?
Sociologists often study exotic cultures by immersing themselves in an environment until they become accepted as insiders. Bill Corsaro, a scientist "goes native" to study the secret world of children.
Here, for the first time, are the children themselves, heard through an expert who knows that the only way to truly understand them is by becoming a member of their community. That's just what Corsaro did when he traded in his adult perspective for a seat in the sandbox alongside groups of preschoolers.
Corsaro's journey of discovery is as fascinating as it is revealing. Living among and gaining the acceptance of children, he gradually comes to understand that a child's world is far more complex than anyone ever suspected. Here he documents a special culture, unique unto itself, in which children create their own social structures and exert their own influences.
At a time when many parents fear that they don't spend enough time with their children, and experts debate the best path to healthy development, seeing childhood through the eyes of a child offers parents and caregivers fresh and compelling insights. Corsaro calls upon all adults to appreciate, embrace, and savor their children's culture. He asks us to take a cue from those we hold so precious and understand that "we're all friends, right?"
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