Sociology of Childhood

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How the concept of Childhood has evolved over time

For this assignment I will explore the concept of childhood and how this has evolved over time across different societies, looking particularly at the role education has in childhood. I will also take a closer look at the different sociological perspectives of childhood and will use these to interpret children’s experiences in order to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of early childhood. I will explore how certain constraints of childhood have emerged over time and how these have shaped our knowledge and understating of children’s lives.
What is childhood and when does it end?
“Childhood is a period of growth, that is to say, the period in which the individual, in both the
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There are many socialisation theories that try to make sense of our socialisation process.
“A socialisation theory is that, we are in effect, produced in childhood by social conditioning. It is only through this process that we become social, and because human beings are essentially social animals, this means that it is only through this process that we become fully human. More specifically we are socialised into understanding and accepting the conventional norms and values of our particular society, and becoming part of a culture; we are socialised into our particular roles, social status and social class; and according to some our own individual personality is also the result of the socialisation process.”
(Maynard & Thomas, an introduction to Early Childhood studies, 2nd edition, Page 35)
I will explore one of these theories in greater detail order to gain a wider understanding of children’s experiences.
Rudolph Scaffer...
Anthropologists have been particularly interested in the ways in which children are believed to play an active part in their socialisation. There are many questions that have been raised because of this – * Is a child’s personality preformed, unfolding as they get older? * Or is a child like a piece of clay, moulded by the adults? * Do children have
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