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  • Created on: 12-04-14 16:00
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  • Childhood
    • Social construction of childhood?
      • SHORTER (1975) explains how children in the middle ages were often treated with indifference due to high deaths i.e. lack of emotional bonds.
      • ARIES (1962) outlines what we experience today as childhood is a recent social construction. In pre-industrial societies, childhood did not exist. Children were mini adults and were economic assets to the family because they earned money
      • CUNNINGHAM (2006) explains how the 19th century saw the 'social invention' of childhood. This 'childhood' had three major characteristics:
        • It was the opposite of adulthood- need protection, no work, dependent.
        • The world of the child was separate- pubs etc. not appropriate.
        • Children have right to happiness
    • The New Right and Childhood
      • Children are vulnerable and need protecting from adult society. Children need protecting from the treats of homosexuality and media violence.
      • PALMER (2006) argues that there are alarming symptoms of unhappiness in modern childhood- an increase in ADHD, substance abuse and self-harm
      • POSTMAN (1982) argues that childhood is under threat in contemporary society for two reasons:
        • The growth of television means that there are no more secrets from children. Television gives them unlimited access to the adult world. They are exposed to the 'real world' of sex, disaster, death, suffering.
        • 'Social blurring'- little distinction between adults and children. Children's games disappearing, they speak, dress and act more like adults.
    • Is Childhood Disappearing? A Postmodern view
      • BROOKS (2001) criticizes Postman's view. He says that parents are obsessed with safety, and ever more concerned with defining boundaries for their children and widening their control and safety net around them.
      • MELAINE PHILLIPS (1997) is sympathetic with the New Right view, she argues that the culture of parenting in the UK has taken down the 'innocence' of childhood has been undermined by two trends.
      • NICK LEE (2001) believes that the social construction of childhood is changing.
      • MORROW (1988) found that children can be constructive and reflective contributors to family life..
      • FRANK FUREDI (2001) is a Postmodernist who refers to 'paranoid parenting' and suggests that children are restricted to the home because of unrealistic parental fears of kidnap, pedophiles and abduction.
    • Is Childhood Always Positive?
      • JEFFRIES ET AL (2002) found that children who experienced childhood in poverty had a very different experience to those from middle class backgrounds. Their education then suffered.
      • TOWNSEND ET AT (2003) looked at data from 46 developing countries. 1/3 all world children live in absolute poverty. 1/3 children live with more than 5 people per room. 134 million children have never been to school


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