Redefining Theories : The Importance Of The New Paradigm

858 Words Oct 27th, 2015 4 Pages
Redefining Theories: The Importance of the New Paradigm
A new type of theory, introduced by Allison James and Alan Prout in 1993 has taken the sociology world by storm. This new type of thinking, called the “New Paradigm” has moved away from the view of children as passive recipients and adult becomings. Instead, it has progressed towards seeing them as competent social actors and human beings who are able to think for themselves while being influenced by their community and environment (McNamee, 2015). It showcases new views and theories on how childhood should be studied and acknowledged going forward. This sociological shift occurred in response to the 3 other dominant sociological perspectives; romanticism, puritan and blank slate theories. (McNamee, 2015).
The new paradigm responded to many of the criticisms of the three other dominant discourses. It challenged the previous views of children as passive recipients of socialization and shifted towards seeing them as a group of people with their own thoughts and behaviours. It didn’t see them as simply “adult becomings” anymore. (McNamee, 2015). The emergence of this new set of ideas changed how childhood has been studied across each discipline and continues to shape our understanding of children and childhood today.
This emerging paradigm has 6 main focuses relating to how childhood should be studied.
The first key feature is that the concept of childhood is a social construction. It is culturally diverse and is…

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