Gender & Play - Childhood Influences

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Childhood is simply the time between infancy and adulthood, the time when we are developing, learning and are dependent on someone to guide us and help us through life. Richard Mills’ (2000, p.8) research shows many views, such as is “childhood a state of powerlessness and adaptation to a lack of power (as Waksler maintains, 1991:69)?” “...Or dependency (Shipman, 1972: 13)? Can it not simply be regarded as a period of biological, intellectual, and social development; as a time for the ‘accumulation of experience’ (Wadsworth, 1991:13)? Leading to self-definition (19991: 12)?” Or does it have a whole different meaning all together?
What does childhood mean to you? Does it have the same meaning to everyone? Does the meaning change as we get
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This idea is developed from early childhood; from history to date, children role play in this exact manner, girls like to imagine they are at home looking after the baby, spending all day in the kitchen whilst the men are out ‘fixing’ something, doing labour work. Media appears to support this idea, by encouraging gender type of toys, e.g. work benches for boys and kitchens for girls, this is also the typical kind of play you would witness in a day nursery. An example of this can be seen in Booklet B, Image one (Jones, R, P. 2007), this shows the young boy taking a dominant role, and a young girl just standing there with her hands clasped together just watching him.

It appears children are always dictated to in one way or another, be this by parents, teachers, media, or other adults. They are not allowed to pick their own path in terms of gender, and appear to have no rights as a child in relation to this. “In the past, most philosophers have asserted that children had either no or limited rights.” (Hill, M. & Tisdall, K. 1997, p.25) One of the reason for this, is children lack knowledge as they are still developing, limiting their opinions, therefore making it difficult for them to make informed decisions. Ideally an adult’s presence is needed to educate a child about life and its ways, according to Locke “only adults are
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