Childhood Studies : A New Field For The Advocacy Of Children

Decent Essays
Joe Dawson Dawson 1
Professor Cook
Childhood Studies
April 13, 2011
The New Childhood Studies Childhood studies is a relatively new field for the advocacy of children that has developed to represent points of view that had been repressed. The authors, Allison James and Alan Prout, argue that the notion of childhood has become complicated over the past decade. The nature of childhood is socially constructed. Meaning, the childish nature of adolescents is developed and expressed in individual societies differently and these individual attitudes and beliefs combine to form a region specific model of childhood. James and Prout developed six central tenets, or principles, about how children should be understood. The first tenet proposes that childhood is socially constructed. This is to say that childhood differs over place and time but biologically all children are alike in that they are immature. It does not matter where or when a child is born, their brain does not fully develop until adulthood (James & Prout, p. 3). The second tenet proposes that childhood fluctuates according to certain variables in society like gender, class, or ethnicity. James and Prout give the example of a European idea of childhood spreading to the Third World. These values were most likely from the white, urban, middle class. When spread to the Third World, children’s activities became “deviant or criminal” (James & Prout, p. 4). This shows that children and
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