Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood

1097 WordsApr 10, 20135 Pages
Childhood is socially construted, this means it is only a human concept and the only reason that 'childhood ' exists is because society makes it that way. Over time childhood has changed as different norms and values over each century of life have been different and is still changing at present. Also in different places of the world there are different cultures and ethics so therefore their veiw of childhood will also be different. As Wagg (1992) states ‘Childhood is socially constructed. It is, in other words, what members of particular societies, at particular times, and in particular places, say it is. There is no single universal childhood, experienced by all. So, childhood isnt “natural” and should be distinguished from mere…show more content…
Neglect and abuse towards children still occurs in society today as it did in pre-industrial times. Adult control over children can take the extreme form of physical neglect, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Some may say due to figures from charities such as Child Line rising there is a ‘dark side’ to family life, where children are victims. This shows in some cases the status of children hasn’t changed over time. Childhood has changed more in other ways such as parents have more control over children’s space as there is increasingly close surveillance over children in public spaces such as shopping centre’s, especially in times when they should be in school. However in contrast to this Katz (1993) describes how rural Sudanese children roam freely both within the village and several kilometers outside it. This shows that changes can still occur but not in some places of the world. Adults in today’s society also can control children’s daily routines, for example when they get up, go to bed, have breakfast, etc. Whereas in historical times this wouldn’t have been an issue. Adults exercise enormous control over children’s bodies including how they sit, walk, and run, what they wear, hairstyles etc. whereas in some non-industrial cultures this may not be an issue, and therefore giving children more freedom. Some sociologists such as Postman (1994) argue that childhood is ‘disappearing at a dazzling speed’ as he says by giving children the
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