Childhood & Development

How Visual Sociology Ended Child Labor

How Visual Sociology Ended Child Labor

Vox, 2019, 6:35… Child labor was widely practiced until a photographer showed the public what it looked like. The 1900 US Federal Census revealed that 1.75 million children under the age of 16, more than one in five, were gainfully employed. They worked all over the country in cotton mills, glass blowing factories, sardine canneries, farms, and even coal mines. In an effort to expose this exploitation of children, the National Child Labor Committee hired a photographer to travel around the country and investigate and report on the labor conditions of children.

Child-caring Dads in Japan

Child-caring Dads in Japan

Quartz, 2019, 7:40… Japan is tackling gender inequality with a "hunky dads" campaign. Japan’s workforce is shrinking and aging. To keep its economy growing, it needs more of its citizens to work, which means getting more women into the workplace. Nearly half of Japanese women quit their jobs after the birth of their first child. To get mothers back to work, Japan’s government has focused on encouraging men to more fully share household responsibilities. The government started a campaign called the “ikumen” project.

Moral Panics & Music

Moral Panics & Music

Vox, 2019, 20:50… While the PMRC’s involvement was allegedly sparked by some raunchy lyrics from Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain, the debate over rock lyrics had been infiltrating American culture and politics for a decade. The driving force behind that debate was the rise of heavy metal, a genre that saw explosive popularity with the launch of MTV in 1981, and the growing influence of the religious right, who saw rock music as a powerful threat to Christianity.

The Benefits of Risky Playgrounds

The Benefits of Risky Playgrounds

Vox, 2019, 5:43… The stereotypical modern playground — with its bright colors and rubberized flooring — is designed to be clean, safe, and lawsuit-proof. But that isn't necessarily the best design for kids. US playground designers spent decades figuring out how to minimize risk: reducing heights, softening surfaces, and limiting loose parts. But now, some are experimenting with creating risk. A growing body of research has found that risky outdoor play is a key part of children’s health, promoting social interactions, creativity, problem-solving, and resilience.

Play Labs

Play Labs

Quartz, 2018, 4:59… At more than 513 “play labs” in Uganda, Tanzania and Bangladesh, kids participate a child-centered curriculum built by a team of global play scholars delivered in a space designed by architects, right down to the corners for stories, crafts and dreaming.

Urban Thinkscapes

Urban Thinkscapes

Quartz, 2018, 5:03… Urban Thinkscape is more than just a playground. It was designed by a team of psychologists and architects to encourage families to play while waiting for the bus. The researchers behind the project argue that play is crucial for early childhood development and that there needs to be more of it built into public spaces — more than a playground for kids. In 2050, 70% of the world’s children will live in cities. If the team can prove Urban Thinkscape’s success, it’s a concept that can be replicated almost anywhere.