Since the seventeenth century, children have been given a voice in the family home; by letting them to make their own choices. Reference This has changed the nature of childhood dramatically, which can be seen a positive and negative effect. It has enabled children to be more independent with decision making which prepares children more for adulthood; this is what childhood is ‘supposed’ to do. On the other hand, it can put too much burden on the child, meaning they are being treated more like an adult rather than a child.
Examine how social, historical and spatial constructions of childhood and or youth inform the design, practices and values of a selected institution of childhood or young people.
| Conflict sociologists, such as Marxist and feminists, argue that society is based on conflict between different social groups such as classes and genders. They say that there are inequalities among children in terms of their opportunities and risks, and that many children are unprotected and badly cared for.
One view sociologists take on childhood, is the march of progress view. This view argues that over the past centuries, the position of children in society has steadily improved and that it is substantially better today, due to the introduction of various laws, children
There have been many ideas on how to define childhood that have been expressed over the years, from more controversial concepts such as the psychosexual stages developed by Freud to the more polished concepts like Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s tabula rasa. Despite these differing academic views about how to describe childhood, there is a universal understanding that childhood is a distinct space from adulthood. Childhood is often depicted as a stage in life that is filled with unruly behaviour, an abundance of imagination and irrational thought processes. It is also commonly portrayed as a vulnerable period in which children should be sheltered from neglect, abuse, and exploitation. As newcomers to
Childhood itself is a slightly ambiguous term, and is not a fixed definite period of life. The book “AS level sociology” written by Rob webb, Hal Westergaard, Kieth Trobe and Liz Steel defines childhood as “ a socially defined age status” going on to say that there are major differences in how childhood is defined, both historically, and culturally, similarly, Stephen Wagg says of childhood;
Childhood is usually understood as a set of experiences and behaviours, gained in the early stages of the human existence, considered as the preparation for the adult world. However, the history of childhood is a very complex topic and it has become a very influential area of study in recent years. In 1962, the ‘Centuries of Childhood’ by Philippe Ariés introduced the idea that childhood was a new creation developed in recent centuries and as a concept it was believed to be nonexistent before the seventeenth century. This concept means that there was no awareness of the process of childhood. In several studies of the medieval period, Ariés noticed that childhood was not acknowledged or even attempted to be portrayed during this period. For
Childhood studies is a subject area surrounding the study of children’s lives through many different concepts or ideas with many different features. It is related to many different fields such as law, history, sociology, health, anthropology and much more as Martin Woodhead (Open University) said “It uses multiple methods rather than just singular methods” and is “inter-disciplinary” Childhood studies expresses and tries to understand the many different parts of a child’s life and the different issues surrounding childhood, therefore it has many different features.
There is little evidence of what it was really like in the past so it is difficult for a lot of people to re-construct the life of a child, however from what I have researched, and in my own opinion I am going to summarise the historical changes in childhood experience and relate these changes to childhood development and rights.
The world has experienced many changes in past generations, to the present. One of the very most important changes in life had to be the changes of children. Historians have worked a great deal on children’s lives in the past. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”- Author Unknown
For this assignment, I have organized my responses into a report based on the following periods of development: infancy and toddlerhood (birth to 30 months), early childhood (3 to 5 years), middle childhood (6-11 years), and adolescence (12-18 years). The last section of my paper includes my responses to the personal reflection questions.
According to Allison James, Children are often discouraged in the United States, from making minimal decisions on their own or showing evidence of autonomy at young ages. She asserts that childhood can denote more than one ideology, depending on where you are. In addition, James also touches on insight offered by historian , Phillipe Aries who interjects that there was no concept of childhood during the mid-evil era. Thus alluding to the cultural and social influences that factor into the structure of how a particular society defines what it means to be a child.
Childhood is socially construted, this means it is only a human concept and the only reason that 'childhood ' exists is because society makes it that way. Over time childhood has changed as different norms and values over each century of life have been different and is still changing at present. Also in different places of the world there are different cultures and ethics so therefore their veiw of childhood will also be different. As Wagg (1992) states ‘Childhood is socially constructed. It is, in other words, what members of particular societies, at particular times, and in particular places, say it is. There is no single universal childhood, experienced by all. So, childhood isnt “natural” and should be distinguished from mere
Through looking on different cultures it seems that childhood is definitely a social construction. But a better way of trying to find out if it is or not is through looking back in time. Until the end of the Middle Ages, children in the West were often seen as miniature versions of adult. Their clothes and their bodily proportions were the same as those of adults. The main reason why they were classed as ‘miniature adults’ was because they were expected to participate in all aspects of social life alongside their parents. Special protection and treatment did not exist at this time. Children could be punished and frequently were, for social transgressions with the same severity that adults were.
It is generally reported that the definition of child categorizes a group of people according to age as in Convention Article 1 declared: For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child majority is attained earlier. However, UNICEF answered question of age range by saying there are some circumstances which can change benchmark ages namely the age for admission into employment, obligatory education. In other words according to countries age range is changeable and it can be varying. The question of those variations evokes the socially constructed of child and childhood. First time Ariés (1962) illuminated childhood in the context of social construction with his research from the Middle Ages onwards (James & James 2004). At beginning of his book he exemplified this by asking the age of one child can be answered easily but other child in the African bush does not know their age as a tangible concept. It has