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Identity Crisis DVD

SKU: 192508DVD

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What shapes a child’s identity—situation and surroundings, or unchangeable factors within the child? This program weighs in on that question by capturing the emotional and psychological development of 25 boys and girls at age five. In fascinating and sometimes disturbing scenes, the children reveal clear signals about their self-worth and their expectations for the future that bear strong connection to nationality, gender, skin color, economic class, and the presence or absence of either parent. Powerful in its social implications as well as its emotional impact, Identity Crisis brings vital documentation to the nature vs. nurture debate. A BBC/Open University Co-production. Original broadcast title: Identity Crisis. Part of the series Child of Our Time 2005. (60 minutes)

Length: 60 minutes


Copyright date: ©2005

 Closed Captioned

Emotional and Psychological Development Study (02:42)

Over a period of 20 years, 25 children are observed to determine how genes and environment combine to form personality. Social class already shapes expectations at the age of five.

James: Living With Poverty and Constant Change (05:41)

Raised in a poor area of southeast London, James is already shaped by his environment. Left by his father at age three, his family now lives in fear of his mother's violent ex-boyfriend. The constant changes in James' life already affect him.

Influence of Economic Position on Children (03:08)

Regardless of background, the children in this study have clear ideas of the consequences of being rich or poor. The economic position of their own families influences what they want to be when they grow up.

William: A Boy With Unlimited Options (05:20)

With a stable, affluent home life and a private education, William, has every advantage. He has much in common with with his father, including athleticism, but also has his mother's determination.

Gender Identity and Appearance (03:41)

Gender is a very important part of identity and is one of the earliest lessons children learn about who they are. Children are confused when gender and appearances contradict. By adulthood, appearance is fundamental to self-esteem.

Rebecca: Food and Body Size (05:39)

Scientists believe that self confidence and how we feel about our bodies is greatly influenced by our parents and how they feel about their bodies. Rebecca may be responding to her mother's mixed feelings about food and body size.

James: Seeking Safety and Stability (03:43)

James' family is in turmoil as his mother's ex-boyfriend breaks into their home. The children stay with relatives while their mother seeks assistance from the housing department to find a safe place to live.

Tyrese: Race and Identity (05:44)

Tyrese not only faces the challenges of being a black male, but the possibility of dyslexia and the separation of his parents. Tyrese develops behavioral issues at school in response to his parents' separation.

Research on Ethnic Identity (04:09)

Research from the University of Kent illustrates what children know about ethnic identity and what attributes are associated with different races. This study shows that both black and white children are picking up on racial stereotypes that favor whites.

Rebecca: Influences of National and Ethnic Identities (03:19)

Rebecca is Jewish, lives in a Jewish community, and attends a Jewish school. Her family has a strong sense of national pride but like most children her age, Rebecca's ethnic identity proves stronger than her national identity.

William: Over-Confident and Aggressive (04:19)

The Roberts family takes a trip to France; while abroad William misses the comforts of home. Picking up on tension between his parents, William constantly attempts to assert himself by fighting.

James: Seeking Refuge (03:24)

James' family returns to their flat to salvage whatever they can to take with them to a women's shelter for victims of domestic violence. James must leave many toys behind.

William: Moving to a New Home (04:16)

William and his family move to a new home, but William is still asserting his dominance over other family members.

James: A New Beginning (03:18)

Without any furniture or money, James' family finds a new home but must wait six weeks before they can move in. While dealing with profound change, the security James finds in his family and school will help shape his identity and his future.

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Identity Crisis DVD



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