Advertisement

Children’s Self-Concept of their Well-Being in Rawalpindi and Islamabad: Actor’s Perspectives of Identity and Existence

  • Makhtoom Ahmed
  • Muhammad Zaman
Article

Abstract

Psychological investigations of the self-concept of children constitute a significant body of knowledge. This study focuses on self-concept from a sociological perspective, viewing self-concept as a social construct instead of a psychological construct. Drawing data from qualitative in-depth interviews with 30 children aged 8 to 12, the article asserts that children describe their self-concept within their cultural context. Focusing on the Pakistani context, we demonstrate the cultural embeddedness of self-concept by showing that children describe their social identity with reference to specific ideas of traditional gender roles and with reference to religious and national identifications which are formally valued in Pakistan. The importance of acting as moral agents who consider it obligatory to undertake domestic roles, perform well at school and support their family members in the future is also emphasized. We argue that there are multiple domains of self-concept, within which children represent themselves in a specific cultural context.

Keywords

Self-concept children’s wellbeing Self-identity Agency Pakistan 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the services of Prof. Tobia Fattore in editing and correction of the text of the manuscript. Indeed, he deserves a lot of appreciation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors do not disclose any conflict of interests for this study.

References

  1. Aldgate, J. (2010). Child-wellbeing, child development and family life. In C. McAuley & W. Rose (Eds.), Child well-being: Understanding children’s lives (pp. 21–38). UK: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  2. Ariès, P. (1962). Centuries of childhood. A social history of family life. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  3. Ayoub, G., & Kurt, W. F. (2006). Development pathways and intersection among domains of development. In K. McCartney & Deborah (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of early childhood development (pp. 62–81). UK: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benninger, E., & Savahl, S. (2016). Children’s discursive construction of the self. Child Indicators Research.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s1218-016-9389-8.
  5. Bong, M., & Einar, M. S. (2003). Academic self-concept and self efficacy: How different are they really? Educational Psychology Review, 15(1), 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chang, T. S. (1975). The self concept of children in ethnic groups: Black American and Korean American. The Elementary School Journal, 76(1), 52–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, R. M. (2010). Childhood in Society: for early childhood studies.UK: Learning Matters. Google Scholar
  8. Cohen-Malayev, M., Elli, P. S., & Yisrael, R. (2014). Teachers and the religious socialization of adolescents: Facilitation of meaningful religious identity formation process. Journal of Adolescence, 37, 205–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Corsaro, A. W. (2005). Collective action and Agency in Young Children. In J. Qvortrup (Ed.), studies in modern childhood: Society, agency and Culture (pp. 231–247). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Durrani, N., & Mairead, D. (2010). Curriculum and National Identity: Exploring the links between religion and nation in Pakistan. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 42(2), 215–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dyson, L. L. (2003). Children with learning disabilities within family context: A comparison with siblings in global self-concept, academic self-perception, and social competence. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 18(1), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Erten, I. H., & Robert, L. B. (2014). The relationships between academic self-concept, attribution and L2 achievement. System, 42, 391–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fattore, T., Fegter, S., & Hunner-Kreisel, C. (2015). Children’s understandings of well-being - global and local contexts – Unpublished research proposal.Google Scholar
  14. Goodvin, R., Sara, M., Ross, A. T., & Rachel, H. (2008). Self-understanding in early childhood: Associations with child attachment security and maternal negative affect. Attachment and Human Development, 10(4), 433–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guay, F., Herbert, W. M., & Michel, B. (2003). Academic self-concept and academic achievement: Development perspectives on their casual ordering. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(1), 124–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guralnick, M. J. (2006). Family influence on early development: Integrating the science of normative development, risk and disability. In K. McCartney and Deborah (Ed.), Blackwell Handbook of Early Childhood Development (pp. 44–61). UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Hall, S. (1996). Introduction: Who needs identity? In S. Hall & D. G. Paul (Eds.), Questions of cultural identity (pp. 1–18). London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  18. Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P. (1995). Ethnography. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Hendrick, H. (2001). The Child as a Social Actor in Historical Sources: problems of identification and interpretation. In P. Christensen and Allison J. (Ed.), Research with Children: perspectives and practices (36–62). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hogg, M. A., Terry, D. J., & White, K. M. (1995). A tale of two theories: A critical comparison of identity theory with social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 58(4), 255–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. James, A. (2005). Life times: children’s perspectives on age, agency and memory across the life course. In J. Qvortrup (Ed.), Studies in modern childhood: Society, agency and culture (pp. 248–268). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. James, A., & Alan, P. (1997a). Constructing and reconstructing childhood. In A. James & P. Alan (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (pp. 1–5). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  23. James, A., & Alan, P. (1997b). A new paradigm for the sociology of childhood? Provenance, promise and problems. In A. James & P. Alan (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (pp. 7–32). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  24. Jenkins, R. (2008). Social identity. Routledge London.Google Scholar
  25. Jenks, C. (1996). Childhood. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Jenks, C. (2001). Zeitgeist Research on Childhood. In P. Christensen and Allison J. (Ed.), Research with Children: perspectives and practices (62–77). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  27. Jenks, C. (2002). A sociological approach to childhood development. In P. K. Smith & H. H. Craige (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of childhood social development (pp. 78–94). UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Lall, M. (2008). Educate to hate: The use of education in the creation of antagonistic National Identities in India and Pakistan. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 38(1), 103–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lansdown, G. (1994). Children’s right. In B. Mayall (Ed.), Children’s childhoods: Observed and experienced (pp. 33–44). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  30. Markus, H. R., & Shinobu, K. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marsh, H. W. (1990). A multidimensional, hierarchical model of self-concept: Theoretical and empirical justification. Educational Psychological Review, 2(2), 77–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Marsh, H. W., Louise, A. E., & Rhonda, G. C. (2002). How do preschool children feel about themselves? Unraveling measurement and multidimensional self-concept structure. Developmental Psychology, 38(3), 376–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mayall, B. (1994). Children in action at home and school. In B. Mayall (Ed.), Children’s childhoods: Observed and experienced (pp. 114–127). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mayall, B. (2005). The social condition of UK childhood: children’s understandings and their implications. In J. Mansoon & F. Toby (Eds.), Children taken seriously: In theory, policy and practice (pp. 79–90). Jessica Kingsley: UK.Google Scholar
  35. Mayall, B. (2013). A History of the Sociology of Childhood. London: Institute of Education Press 20 Bedford Way.Google Scholar
  36. Miller, P. J., & Sarah, C. M. (2005). Developing selves are meaning-making selves: Recouping the social in self-development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2005(109), 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Moinian, F. (2006). I can tell it as it is! Exploring how children write and talk about themselves in school. Ethnography 1(2), 231–246.Google Scholar
  38. Murphy, A., & Janet, L. (2013). Children’s perceptions of National Identity in Wales. Education 3–13, 41(2), 188–201.Google Scholar
  39. National Education Policy. (2009). Ministry of Education Government of Pakistan.Google Scholar
  40. O’Kane, C. (2001). The Development of Participatory Techniques: facilitating children’s views about decision which affect them. In P. Christensen and Allison J. (Ed.), Research with Children: perspectives and practices (136–160). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  41. Oakley, A. (1994). Women and children first and last: Parallels and differences between children’s and women studies. In B. Mayall (Ed.), Children’s childhoods: Observed and experienced (pp. 13–32). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  42. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Government of Pakistan. www.pb.gov.pk.
  43. Pinxten, C., Sofie, W., Franzis, P., Christoph, N., Bieke, D. F., & Karine, V. (2014). The formation of academic self-concept in elementary education: A unifying model for external and internal comparison. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41, 124–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Qamar, A. H. (2012). Gendered aspects of informal education in childhood: Research reflections from the rural Panjab, Pakistan. Academic Research International, 2(1), 383–397.Google Scholar
  45. Qvortrup, J. (1997). A voice for children in statistical and social accounting: A plea for children’s to be heard. In A. James & P. Alan (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (pp. 83–199). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  46. Qvortrup, J. (2005). Varieties childhood. In Jens Q. (Ed.), studies in modern childhood: Society, agency and Culture (pp. 1–20). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  47. Rosenholtz, S. J., & Carl, S. (1984). The formation of ability conception: Developmental trend or social construction? Review of Educational Research, 54(1), 31–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rumble, A. C. (2011). Religion as collective identity. In R. M. Kramer, G. J. Leonardelli, & R. W. Livingston (Eds.), Social cognition, social identity, and intergroup relation (pp. 145–161). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  49. Scourfield, J., Bella, D., Mark, D., & Andrew, D. (2006). Children place and identity: Nation and locality in middle childhood. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Solberg, A. (1997). Negotiating childhood: Changing construction of age for Norwegian children. In A. James & P. Alan (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (pp. 123–140). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tajfel, H., & Jhon, C. T. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. The Social Psychology of Group Relation (pp. 33-47). Monetary: Brooks-Cole.Google Scholar
  52. Taylor, L. D., Pamela, D., & Oksana, M. (2007). Self-esteem, academic self-concept and aggression at school. Aggressive Behavior, 33, 130–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Turmel, A. (2008). A historical sociology of childhood. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Turner, J. C. (1984). Social identification and psychological group formation. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), social Dimension (pp. 519–538). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Turner, J. C., Penelope, J. O., Alexander Haslam, S., & Craig, M. (1994). Self and Collective: cognition and social context. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20(5), 454–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Uszynska-Jarmoc, J. (2004). The conception of self in Children’s narratives. Early Child Development and Care, 174(1), 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Waller, T. (2005a). Introduction. In T. Waller (Ed.), An introduction to early childhood: A multidisciplinary approach. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.Google Scholar
  58. Waller, T. (2005b). Modern childhood: Contemporary theories and children lives. In T. Waller (Ed.), An introduction to early childhood: A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 55–70). London: Paul Chapman Publishing.Google Scholar
  59. Wang, Q. (2006). Culture and development of self knowledge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(4), 182–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Woodhead, M. (1997). Psychology and cultural construction of Children’s need. In A. James & A. Prout (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (pp. 61–74). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  61. Zia, R. (2003). Religion and education in Pakistan: An overview. Prospects, 33(2), 165–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyBaluchistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management SciencesQuettaPakistan
  2. 2.Department of SociologyQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations