Childhood Bred Constructed Through Social, Cultural And Historical Frameworks

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The social phenomenon of childhood has, across many generations, been debated and refined through social, cultural and historical frameworks. Perhaps one of the more well-rounded definitions can be understood through Sorin and Galloway’s (2006) suggestion of childhood as a structure that is developed and enforced on “children” by “adults”. Furthermore, the United Nations paints childhood, based upon the 'Rights of the Child ' policy (UNCRC) (NSPCC, 2009), with a more simplistic biologically focused definition that a child is any person under the age of eighteen, irrelevant of gender. Thus it would appear that there is not one thesis of childhood that is globally accepted, but rather a structure of theories of childhood bred constructed through the roles of adults and framed through cultural, social, geographic and historical themes and experiences. Based on this preface, this study will seek to identify and analyse five constructs that are recognised within various cultures, eras and societies and how they have influenced constructs of childhood in today’s world. The Child as Innocent Childhood as an innocent and untainted time of life is an image that has been present for centuries. As with most social constructs over time it has seen change and adaption to the social and cultural constraints of each era it has passed through. Some of the earlier examples we can find when exploring this theme are in the art birthed out of the late Middle Ages such as the example in Image

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