The Future of Childhood

Topic 2: Childhood

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • The Future of Childhood
    • Disappearance of childhood (Neil Postman, 1994)
      • 'disappearing at a dazzling speed'
      • Children being given same rights as adults - similarities in clothing for children and adults, children committing 'adult' crimes (James Bulger)
      • Information hierarchy - children learn to read and write from a young age which closes the gap between childhood and adulthood
        • Illiteracy of children meant 'adult matters' -death, sex, money, violence- could be kept secret. Childhood = innocent + ignorant
      • Rise of 'television culture'
        • TV doesn't need special skills (reading, writing) to access it so the 'information hierarchy' is destroyed. Innocence replaced with cynicism
      • HOWEVER - Postman emphasises TV as being the single cause. Doesn't mention living standers, laws protecting children etc.
    • Separate Childhood Culture (Iona Opie, 1993)
      • Childhood is not disappearing
      • Games, toys, songs, meals made specifically for children - fuelled by consumerism
      • A whole new culture of innocence, learning and play is being developed specifically for children
    • Globalisation of Western Childhood
      • Childhood of the Western world is oppressive and children are subject to adult authority
      • Childhood is not disappearing, but being globalised - a separate lifestage based on the nuclear family. Children should be innocent, dependent and vulnerable
      • EXAMPLE: Western charities against child labour reflect views on how we think childhood 'ought' to be. It is the norm of other cultures for children to work
    • The Reconstruction of Childhood (Sue Palmer, 2006)
      • UK tops international levels of obesity, self harm, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, early sexual experience, teen pregnancies: 21/25 for children's well being
      • Children + adults with similar leisure activities and clothes, greater access to communiation
      • HOWEVER: children today have more rights, but are not equal to adults, compulsory education makes childhood longer, adults remain concerned about exposure to sex and violence
  • Rise of 'television culture'
    • TV doesn't need special skills (reading, writing) to access it so the 'information hierarchy' is destroyed. Innocence replaced with cynicism
  • 'Toxic childhood' - technological and cultural changes over the last 25 years have damaged physical, emotional + intellectual development of children
    • Junk food, computer games, marketing targeted at children, long parental working hours, educational testing all attribute to the destruction of childhood
    • The Reconstruction of Childhood (Sue Palmer, 2006)
      • UK tops international levels of obesity, self harm, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, early sexual experience, teen pregnancies: 21/25 for children's well being
      • Children + adults with similar leisure activities and clothes, greater access to communiation
      • HOWEVER: children today have more rights, but are not equal to adults, compulsory education makes childhood longer, adults remain concerned about exposure to sex and violence
  • Falling birth/death rates cause an ageing population with less children. Jens Qcortrup, 1990: childhood more isolated as families become smaller, lack of children makes them more valued

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Families and households resources »