Primary Socialisation

Religion in Life Certificate

Started young, I did.

My dad sent me this scan of a certificate I got when I was in Cubs. I needed images of me in any Beavers or Cubs kit to go with a blog I was writing for the Messy Table. Seeing it now, there’s an eerie resonance with the MA I took at King’s College London in 2010-11 (Religion in Contemporary Life). Maybe I could be cheeky and call my Master’s degree “II Stage” of the programme. It cost a chunk of change, but there’s a qualitative difference between Zone 1-2 of London and the Cub Camp near Bragg Creek in the Alberta foothills…

Could I have imagined then that I would now be lecturing on religion and the media at a Russell Group university? We don’t know which from among our early experiences will have an impact on our later ones – and maybe, to a degree, we’re complicit in writing that script. That’s a bit of what the blog post is about, musing about a friend who is torn over enrolling his child in Scouting when he doesn’t believe in the God his child would be asked to profess.

Here’s some of what I had to say in the post:

The fellowship my friend wants his child to encounter in the Scouting programme, as well as maybe some groovy skills that include cooking beef, potatoes, and carrots in tin foil on a fire he helped make, is one set of experiences that will shape him. The utterance of belief in God is another, and the way the child is brought up in his home is yet another. The dream of a seamless meld here is a fantasy, because we are ourselves contradictory, before we even get to the contradictions we experience when we meet other people.

You can read the full piece here.

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3 thoughts on “Primary Socialisation

    • Lethbridge, where they have to put holes in the university building to keep it from being knocked down in the wind. I have fond memories of Bragg Creek, not just for Cub Camp, but also for family friends who moved out there. We used to go and visit them on the weekend, and their son (between my brother and I in age) had the craziest fusion of childhood experiences that defies the stereotypes. Both a Nintendo AND a Sega (as well as an Atari, but of course that one was rarely pulled out) to compensate for muckle great driveways and living far away from any other chlidren; but also this amazing back forty that we used to prowl around in unsupervised for hours. He introduced me to Piers Anthony, and we pretended this murky hinterland was Xanth. Really, nothing but good memories of Bragg Creek.

      • Truthfully, I did not love Lethbridge. I live near the ocean, and have lived within an hour of coastlines my whole life (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Japan, Vancouver, and my home of PEI). So going toward the mountains when I was in Lethbridge gave me a sense of perspective.
        Atari! Classic. I don’t have anything like that near Bragg Creek, but a tourist’s interest. Cool description.

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