Childhood as a social construction

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  • Childhood
    • Childhood as a social construction
      • Positives
        • 3) more money
        • 2) less working hours
        • 4) better education
        • 1) less children per family
      • Negatives
        • 3) Still poor health and education
        • 2)Still poverty
        • Children still get prostituted and addicted to drugs
        • 1) child abuse still exists
      • NICK LEE
        • Sees growing up as a journey towards stability. Children have been defined in relation to adulthood.
        • Adults are becoming more like children: both in the state of defining and redefining their identities. Both unstable and incomplete.
        • Childhood has become more complex and ambiguous. Children are dependant on their parents.
          • Children have influence as consumers but depend on parents with their purchasing powers.
      • the social construction of childhood isn't a natural or biological stage, it is by culture.
    • Changes in the position of children
      • Children are now precious and a priority in society.
        • 1) children in the past were expected to die due to poor health etc. Now the infant mortality rate has decreased, parents now invest more emotionally and financially in their children.
        • 2)Laws are now in place to protect children : compulsory education, age restrictions on games, minimum working age,cruelty to children act 1889.
        • 3)People now work fewer hours therefore they have more times to spend with children.
        • 4) Children can now access the internet. some adults may not be able to protect children bringing danger back.
    • Death of childhood
      • Present
        • Viewed as being extremely precious: laws have been put in place to protect children and a lot of media, toys and magazines are focused around children to make their childhood as fun as possible.
      • Past
        • In medieval society, childhood didn't exist. Children were treat as "little adults" as soon as they could walk, talk and feed themselves.
      • Future
        • NEIL POSTMAN: childhood can only exist if it is separated and protected from the adult world. Media have wiped out secrecy causing the barrier between childhood and adulthood to break down.
    • Childhood in different cultures
      • The townsend Centre for International Poverty Research 2003
        • 1) over 1/3 of the worlds children are in absolute poverty.
        • 2) 134 million aged 7-18 have never been to school.
        • 3) Many of these children come from countries affected by civil war, becoming child soldiers.


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