Examine Different Sociological Views on Changes in the Experience of Childhood in the Past 50 Years or so. (24)

709 Words Feb 6th, 2014 3 Pages
Many sociologists see childhood as socially constructed; as something created and defined by society. Many argue that what people mean by childhood, and the position that children occupy in society, is not fixed but differs between different times, places and cultures. It can be seen that by comparing the western idea of childhood today with childhood in the past and other societies. It can be determined by many sociologists that there have been many changes in society that have affected children over the last 50 years, however there are several there are several different sociological views on whether these changes have been beneficial to children or not. Functionalist sociologists have the “March of progress” view, as they believe …show more content…
March of progress sociologists further argue that the family has become child centred. Children are no longer to be “seen and not heard”, as they were in Victorian times. Instead they are now the focal point of the family, consulted on many decisions as never before. Parents invest a great deal in their children emotionally as well as financially, and often have high aspirations for them to have a better life and greater opportunities than themselves have had. Furthermore many functionalist sociologists believe that it is not just the family that is child based that it is society as a whole. Marxists and Feminists dispute the “March of progress” view. They argue that society is based on a conflict between different social groups such as social classes or genders. They additionally argue that the “March of progress” view of modern childhood is based on a false and idealised image that ignores important inequalities. They criticise the “March of progress” view on two grounds; that there are inequalities among children in terms of the opportunities and risks they face, many today remain unprotected and badly cared for, another criticism is that the inequalities between children and adults are greater than ever as children today experience greater control, oppression and dependency, not great care and protection. Furthermore, Marxists argue that not all children share the same status or experiences. For example, children of different
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