There Is No Such Universal Category of Childhood. Discuss.

2366 Words May 1st, 2009 10 Pages
There is no universal category of Childhood. Discuss.
To have a universal category of Childhood, all first hand and second hand experiences of Childhood must be the same to a certain degree. The term “universal” demands that all definitions and takes on the term must be the same without any equivocation. The interest in the concept of Childhood in terms of Sociology has increased massively since the 1980’s (Mayall 2002, James et al. 1998, Prout 2000, Lee 2001). Many Sociologists have analysed Childhood not only in contemporary terms but also how Childhood has been understood throughout history and across cultures. This research has led many to the conclusion that Childhood differs greatly throughout these variables and the concept has
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The use of the word “permanent” in this phrase must be considered as Corsaro is not suggesting that there is a permanent definition or meaning of the concept of Childhood in society through time, but rather that there is a permanent category of Childhood which young adults are placed in. This adds to the argument that there is no universla category of childhood.
From this, it is important to consider how age is used as a tool to categorize people and place them in groups. This does not specifically apply to Children but rather applies to a person throughout any point of their lives. Depending on the age of a person they can be given a different classification fitting them into the relevant group e.g. pre-natal, infant, child, teenager, young adult, middle age, old age, deep old age and death. Indeed, using Age as a classification is used throughout society in various and numerous ways. One setting in which its use is highly interesting is in the classification of media e.g. films, videos games etc by the legally recognized institution of the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) These categories are worth mentioning as they assume the maturity and development of a child and if they are capable of dealing with and understanding the issues covered within the film. What is not so obvious about these categories however is the fact that our
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