Assess the Sociological Explanation That Childhood Is a Social Construction.

1499 Words Jul 8th, 2013 6 Pages
Assess the sociological explanation that childhood is a social construction.
Childhood is the time of a person’s life when they are a child. Childhood is said to be socially constructed, meaning that it has not been influenced by nature but has been shaped by the quality of family life and the culture within society. The social construction of childhood points out that childhood is dependent on a number of social factors rather than a biological stage. Sociologists argue about what the term ‘childhood’ actually means. They claim that childhood is a social construction, rather than biological or natural. In this essay I will assess the sociological explaination that childhood is a social construction by showing experience of childhood
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smacking children. New Right thinkers believe that childhood is under threat because the period of innocent childhood has been shortened and also because children have been exposed too soon to the adult world. They see children in need of protection from ‘threats’ such as homosexuality and media violence, this links to Postman’s view (1982) of childhood.
Neil Postman sees childhood is ‘disappearing at a dazzling speed’. He says that the cause of the appearance and disappearance of childhood is because of the growth of television which means that there are no more secrets from children. This gives them unlimited access to the adult world, being exposed to sex, disaster, death and suffering. Social blurring has occurred showing that there is little distinction between adults and children. Children’s games are less childlike today, taking part in adult activities like smoking and drinking and are committing adult crimes such as murder. They speak, dress and behave like adults, this has meant that children are being given the same rights as adults. Society is pushing children to behave in a manner that encourages them to take part in activities that are unsuitable for their age group. Nearly all the traditional features that mark the transition to childhood, (e.g. getting a job, leaving home, getting married) no longer apply. Therefore childhood is not a social construction and it is children
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