How Childhood Has Changed over the Centuries

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In relation to the changing ideas about childhood over the centuries, there are several points of discussion that arise. Many ideas surrounding the change and evolved over the centuries, ideas such as the views towards education and the impact of the industrial revolution on westerns societies views towards childhood, due to the limited space, this essay will focus on two underlying issues which have contributed greatly to the changing ideas about childhood over the centuries, which are; the recognition of childhood and innocence in western society and the extent to which childhood throughout history has been socially constructed. This essay will argue how the concept of childhood has changed over the centuries. Furthermore, this essay…show more content…
Aries (1960) central argument is that ‘post 17th century that childhood has been shaped by social construction’. It is argued that the understanding of childhood is that it is not the same throughout the world and throughout history and how children differ from adults and how the social environment alters the way in which they are constructed. In western society, childhood is considered a time period of innocence and purity and it is something to be protected. It is characterised as a time of protection from the adult world and the concepts associated with adulthood, such as sexualisation, work and injury. With reference to (Anti Essay 2012) as a result of these ideologies, children are expected to be educated and to be provided with care, nurturing and protection by their parents. However, in developing societies the idea of childhood is wholly opposed to that of the childhood of developed societies. The economic state within these developing societies controls the type of childhood these children experience. Children in developing societies are required to work to help maintain their household’s economic status. This is also evident during the time of the industrial revolution, where children were seen to have to contribute to the economy of the household and to contribute to the income of society. Furthermore, the time frame in which a child lived altered the way in which they experienced
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