I'm in the middle of my super-tough theory class, and I've restrained myself from posting quotes from Tocqueville, Durkheim and Marx thus far, but I just couldn't resist posting this excerpt from the excellent novel "Geek Love" by Katherine Dunn. (I'm reading it in my "spare time" to give my brain a diversion from the great thinkers of modern sociology.)
In this section, Olympia is mourning the realization that her father is a fallible being.
It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood.(Page 105 of the hardcover edition.)
Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness? Big, soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying, "Tell Papa, tell Mama, and we'll make it right." The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of chidlhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia.
Yeah. You should read this book.