Topic 2: Childhood (notes)

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  • Childhood
    • Childhood as a social construction
      • Modern western notion of childhood
        • PILCHER
          • The most important feature to childhood is seperateness
          • Separate status to adults
            • Laws
            • Dress
            • Toys
            • Entertainment
            • Books
        • 'Golden age' of innocence and happiness
        • Children are seen as vulnerable and unable to fend for themselves
      • Cross-cultural differences
        • BENEDICT
          • Treated differently in three ways
            • Take responsibility at an early age
              • PUNCH
                • Rural Bolivia - children are expected to work from the age of 5
            • Less value placed on children showing obedience and adult authority
            • Childrens sexual behaviour is viewed differently
        • Historical differenes
          • Schools - became all about educating the younf
          • Clothing -  17th century boys would be dressed in 'an  outfit reversed from is own age group to set him apart from the adults
          • Books were widely available - growing child centerdness around family life
      • Changes in the position of children
        • Laws
        • Compulsory schooling
        • Child protection and welfare legislation
        • Child's rights
        • Declining family size
        • Children's health and development became medical knowledge
    • Has the position of children improved?
      • MOP
        • Has been steadily improving and it's better than it's ever been
        • ARIES and SHORTER
          • Today's children are more valued and cared for act
        • IMR in 1900 was 154 per 1000 births. Now its 5 per 1000 births
        • Higher standards of living
        • Smaller families
      • Conflict view
        • Inequalities among children
          • Gender
          • Class
        • Inequalities among children and adults
        • Neglect and abuse
          • 2006 - 31,400 children were at risk of harm
        • Controls over children's space
        • Controls over time
        • Control over bodies
        • Access to resources
        • Age patriarchy
    • The future of childhood
      • Disappearance of childhood
        • POSTMAN
          • Childhood is disappearing at a dazzling speed
        • Middle ages - children were able to enter adulthood at an early age
        • 19th century - Sharp division as adults could read and children could not
        • TV blurs the distinction. Destroying information hirearchy
          • Doesn't take any skills to access it
      • A separate childhood culture
        • OPIE
          • Childhood is not disappearing
          • Strong evidence to suggest differentiation between adults and children
            • Nursery rhymes and songs
            • Books
            • Games
      • Globalisation of western childhood
      • Reconstruction of childhood?
        • PALMER
          • 'toxic childhood'
          • Technology has effect children's development
        • Children are top of the tables for drug use, self harm ect

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