To What Extent Can Childhood Be Considered a Social Construction?

1489 WordsMar 9, 20126 Pages
To what extent can childhood be considered a social construction? This essay will analyse the major experiences by which childhood is constructed: one determined by the society and the other examined personally. Following this approach will be explained socially constructed childhood that asserts children’s attitudes, expectations and understandings that are defined by a certain society or culture. Furthermore various aspects of childhoods will be taken into account in relation to social, economic, historical, religious and moral context where each child carries specific components depending on the time and place. Everybody has been a child and can relate more or less to the world of children. Childhood is a part of human life that…show more content…
On the other hand now children are given lots of rights and they have the power to influence some rules, laws and procedures. With the factory acts in 19th century children were banned to work in mines and factories and that meant they moved away from ‘adult lives’ to be separated into a new group of people with their own lives. Together with the effect of compulsory schooling throughout Europe children gathered a legal status. The efforts of the modern countries are to facilitate children’s lives by providing for them experiences from the real life. The researchers, Ritchie & Kollar (1964) suggest that children are seen as ‘beings who have the potentials for being slowly brought into contact with a complex adult world’. (Jenks, 2009:103) As a result children are prepared to enter the adult world competently. The knowledge found by research in children’s psychology and social sciences defines certain models of childhood. Children are able to build their own intelligences and competences about the world by interaction with the adults and by being exposed to real life situations, whether in relation to the family, the peer group, the school or the culture. In that sense children are active in constructing their own lives. James & Prout (1990) establish that childhood sociology engages in the process of reconstructing childhood where children are treated as both natural and universal looking at
Open Document