Assess the view that the position of childhood in society has improved

851 WordsOct 25, 20134 Pages
Childhood is a social construction, as it is not natural, and is a result of society identifying and labelling a phase of life. No child experiences exactly the same childhood at exactly the same period of time in their life. In turn childhood should be distinguished from biological life stages. How we treat children, expect them to behave, look and develop all vary depending on the time and place in which the society lies, therefore childhood is a social construction. One view sociologists take on childhood, is the march of progress view. This view argues that over the past centuries, the position of children in society has steadily improved and that it is substantially better today, due to the introduction of various laws, children…show more content…
The Child Protection Act (1889) provides protection for children from neglect abuse. March of progress sociologists believe that these laws and the change in people’s general attitude have led to a society which is child centred, giving children equal opportunities, allowing them to live a more stable life. Conflict view sociologists believe that the inequalities between children and adults are greater than ever, and that children today experience greater control, oppression and dependency, not greater care and protection. This view suggests that children’s wellbeing, personal freedom and resources are all controlled more so than they were before the supposed ‘March of progress’ and there is a vast amount of inequality between children still. For example, class inequalities are very present, as children of unskilled manual workers are over three times more likely to experience conduct disorders than the children of professionals (Caroline Woodroffe 1993). In addition to this, children born into poor families are also more likely to die in infancy or childhood (Marilyn Howard 2001). March of progress sociologists argue that the family has become child centred. Children are now the focus of society; they are consulted on decisions that they were not trusted to do so before. Parents invest a great deal emotionally in children as well as financially and often have higher

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