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Children As A Reserve Labor Force, David F. Lancy Aug 2015

Children As A Reserve Labor Force, David F. Lancy

David Lancy


Human life history is unique in the great length of the juvenile or immature period. The lengthened period is often attributed to the time required for youth to master the culture, particularly subsistence and survival skills. But an increasing number of studies show that children become skilled well before they gain complete independence and the status of adults. It seems, as they learn through play and participation in the domestic economy, children are acquiring a “reserve capacity” of skills and knowledge, which they may not fully employ for many years.  The theory offered here to resolve this paradox poses that ...