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Encyclopedia > Children's street culture

Children's street culture refers to the cumulative culture created by young children. Collectively, this body of knowledge is passed down from one generation of urban children to the next, and can also be passed between different groups of children (e.g. in the form of crazes, such as making guys for Bonfire Night — see Beck 1984). It is often strongest in urban working class industrial districts where children are traditionally free to "play out" (thus creating Children's street culture) in the streets for long periods without supervision. It is most common in children between the ages of seven and twelve. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Herd behaviour is the term used to describe situations in which the individuals of any particular group react coherently. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... Industrial district is a term used to describe an area where workers of a monolithic heavy industry (ship-building, coal mining, steel-working, ceramics, etc) live within walking-distance of their places of work. ...

It is not to be confused with the commercial narrative media-culture produced for children (e.g., comics, television, mass-produced toys, and clothing), although it may overlap. Children's street culture is invented and largely sustained by children themselves, although it may come to incorporate fragments of media culture and toys in its activities. It can also incorporate scavenged materials such as old car seats, tyres, planks, bricks, etc. Comics (or, less commonly, sequential art) is a form of visual art consisting of images which are commonly combined with text, often in the form of speech balloons or image captions. ...

Although it varies from place to place, research shows that it appears to share many commonalities across many cultures. It is a traditional phenomenon that has been closely investigated and documented during the 20th century by anthropologists and folklorists such as Iona Opie; street photographers such as Roger Mayne, Helen Levitt, David Trainer, Humphrey Spender and Robert Doisneau; urbanists such as Colin Ward and Robin Moore, as well as being described in countless novels of childhood. It has occasionally been central to feature films, such as the Our Gang ("Little Rascals") series, Ealing's Hue & Cry (1947) and some Children's Film Foundation films such as Go Kart, Go! and Soap Box Derby. See Anthropology. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Iona Opie (b. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Roger Mayne (b. ... Helen Levitt (born 31 August 1913) is an American documentary photographer. ... David Trainer is a television director, perhaps best known for directing almost every episode of the FOX sitcom That 70s Show. ... Robert Doisneau by Tyroon Win Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912 - April 1, 1994) was a French photographer noted for his frank and often humorous depictions of Parisian street life. ... Colin Ward (1924-) was an editor of the British anarchist newspaper Freedom from 1947 to 1960, and the founder and editor of the monthly libertarian journal Anarchy from 1961 to 1970. ... Robin Moore (b. ... A poster for the 1931 Our Gang comedy Love Business featuring depictions of (from left to right): Pete the Pup, Jackie Cooper, and Norman Chubby Chaney. ... Ealing Studios, a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in West London, claims to be the oldest film studio in the world. ... Hue & Cry was a British feature film released in 1947 by Ealing Studios, directed by Charles Crichton. ...

Since the widespread use of the car, children's street culture has often been forced to retreat to pavements and backstreets, and then into parks and playgrounds. Since the advent of distractions such as video games, television and peer pressure concerns have been expressed about the vitality or even the survival of children's own street culture for it began to die. Since the mid 1990s in some nations, parental fears about pedophiles have led many adults to forbid unsupervised outdoor play[citation needed]. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about computer and video games. ... Pedophilia, paedophilia, or pædophilia (see spelling differences), is the paraphilia of being sexually attracted primarily or exclusively to pre-pubescent children. ...

In 1997, The Miami New Times published Lynda Edwards' "Myths Over Miami", which describes a huge consistent mythology spreading among young homeless children in the American South. The story has been picked up and reprinted many times on internet blogs and websites. There is no known verification or confirmation that the mythology she describes actually exists, but these "secret stories" are clearly based on known elements of street culture, such as labeling certain places "haunted" or recycling legends of dangerous spirits such as Mary Worth. The article was the basis for Mercedes Lackey's novel Mad Maudlin, co-written with Rosemary Edghill. Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar). ... The Miami New Times is a free, weekly Miami, Florida newspaper, put out every Thursday. ... A homeless man pushes a cart down the street. ... It has been suggested that Online diary be merged into this article or section. ... Mary I of England Bloody Mary is a name applied to both Queen Mary I of England and to a figure of Western folklore. ... Mercedes Lackey (born June 24, 1950) (also known as Misty Lackey) is a prolific American author of fantasy novels. ... eluki bes shahar (1956) is a notable American writer and editor of, primarily, science fiction and fantasy. ...


See also

Peter and Iona (Archibald) Opie were a husband-and-wife team of folklorists, who applied modern techniques to childrens literature, summarized in their studies, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1952) and The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959) Their collection of some 1200 titles of childrens books... Some childrens games include: Ball tag Blind Mans Bluff British Bulldog Bullrush game Butts Up Cats cradle Chain tag Cocky Olly Conkers Cops and robbers Doctor Dodge ball Duck Duck Goose aka Duck, Duck, Gray Duck Ducks and Drakes aka Skipping stones Flashlight tag Follow the Leader... A tree house Tree house (also spelled treehouse) refers to a hand-built wooden platform-based structure resembling a shed or house, that is built among the branches or around the trunk of one or more mature trees, and is a least six feet off the ground. ... Child art is the drawings, paintings and other artistic works created by children, generally under the age of 12. ... A childhood secret club is an informal form of organization that tends to interest children aged approximately 8 to 11. ...

Further reading


  • Iona Opie. The People in the Playground (1993) (In-depth study of children's playground lore and life).
  • Iona Opie. The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959).
  • Simon Bronner. American Children's Folklore (1988).
  • Leea Virtanen. Children's Lore (1978). (English-translation of a 30,000-sample study from Finland).
  • Colin Ward (with photos by Ann Golzen). The Child in the City (1977). (Groundbreaking key book, with a focus on the British experience).
  • Robin Moore. Childhood's Domain: Play and Place (1986). (In-depth advanced study of three small areas of England, with maps and photos).
  • Ervin Beck. "Children's Guy Fawkes Customs in Sheffield", Folklore, 95 (1984), 191-203.
  • David Sobel. Mapmaking with Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years (1998).

Iona Opie (b. ... Simon J. Bronner (born April 7, 1954 in Haifa, Israel) is an American folklorist, historian, educator, and author. ... Colin Ward (1924-) was an editor of the British anarchist newspaper Freedom from 1947 to 1960, and the founder and editor of the monthly libertarian journal Anarchy from 1961 to 1970. ... Robin Moore (b. ...

Photography books

  • Roger Mayne. Street Photographs of Roger Mayne (1996, Victoria and Albert Museum).
  • Robert Doisneau. Les Enfants, Les Gosses (1992).
  • Helen Levitt. In The Street: chalk drawings and messages, New York City 1938-1948. (1987) — (Chalkings and children making them)
  • Eddie Elliott (Curator). Knock Down Ginger: Seventy Years of Street Kids (Exhibition, Photographers' Gallery, London; July 2001).
  • Les Enfants (Editions de La Martinière, France, 2001) (Anthology of French street photography of children; by Ronis, Riboud, Doisneau, Cartier Bresson, and others).
  • R.S. Johnson & J.T. Oman. Street Children (1964). Hodder & Stoughton, London. (Photography & poetic text on facing pages, re: young British children's street play).

Roger Mayne (b. ... The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A) is on the corner of Cromwell Gardens and Exhibition Road in South Kensington, west London. ... Robert Doisneau by Tyroon Win Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912 - April 1, 1994) was a French photographer noted for his frank and often humorous depictions of Parisian street life. ... Helen Levitt (born 31 August 1913) is an American documentary photographer. ...

Television documentaries

  • Ian Duncan. (Dir.) Picture This: Playing Out (BBC2 1992)
  • Ian Duncan. (Dir.) The Secret World of Children (BBC 1993)
  • The Singing Street (1951).
  • Dusty Bluebells (BBC Northern Ireland, early 1970s), and the follow-up film showing how the street's child-friendly nature had been destroyed by cars, This Is Not a Car Park (1993).

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