London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

From 11 to 15 - a road to economic competence?

Author(s) Elisabet Nasman and Christina von Gerber  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2001  
Editor A. Ross, Learning for Democratic Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
Citizenship includes the capacity to act as an independent economic actor. To prepare children for their entrance into the economic world of adults is therefore an important task of citizenship education, for the family as well as for the school and other places where adults and children meet. The question must also to be considered of whether children and teenagers should be granted citizenship status before maturity. Is democracy in childhood contexts only important as socialisation for a future role, or is it necessary in order to grant the youngest citizens of society civil rights? In this context, children's scope for economic action becomes a key issue. Compulsory schooling means that school-age children are virtually excluded from the labour market and are therefore economically dependent. This paper presents research concerning the economic world of children and teenagers. Comparisons are made between two age groups in order to see to what extent the age span means differences in competence and scope of action. The following aspects are discussed: economic action areas; economic perspectives; age ladders and time horizons; social relationships; basic and surplus consumption; economic morality; close versus distant; individual versus collective; work versus duties; participation; economic agency and learning

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