The social construction of childhood

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  • Created on: 06-05-17 13:27
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  • The social construction of childhood
    • Childhood in pre-industrial society
      • Philippe Aries
        • What children experience today as childhood is a recent social invention or construction
    • Childhood and industrialisation
      • Chapman
        • It wasn't until the 19th century  that childhood became socially constructed as a significant life transition that required particular forms of nurturing, supervision and discipline
      • Chambers
        • The idea of a 'protected or sheltered childhood' became very popular in the late 19th century
    • A child-centred 20th century
      • Cunningham
        • A child centred society has three major features
          • Childhood is viewed as the opposite of adulthood
          • The social worlds of adults and children and physically and symbolically separated
          • Childhood is associated with certain rights
    • Childhood as a relative experience
      • Sharpe, Oakley and Fine
        • Boys and girls are socialised into a set of behaviours based on cultural expectations about masculinity and femininity
      • McRobbie
        • Girl's experience of childhood may differ from boys because parents see them as in need of greater protection from the outside world
      • McHale et al
        • Where families have limited budgets, they are more likely to invest in activities that enhance development for their sons than for their daughters
      • Donzelot
        • Poor families and their children at more likely to be controlled by the state
      • Nelson
        • Rich parents excessively interfere in the lives of their children in terms of guidance and shaping their experience of childhood
      • Ghumann
        • Generational conflict between Asian parents and children exist, especially over fashion, dating and marriage, n=but it is often resolved through compromise
    • Theoretical approaches to childhood
      • The conventional approach
        • Melanie Phillips
          • The culture of parenting in the UK has broken down and the 'innocence' of childhood has been undermined by liberal ideas and politics and the media.
        • Postman
          • TV exposes children to the adult world too soon
      • Feminism
        • Walter
          • Parents and families are unwittingly endorsing the objectification of women's bodies through their choice of toys and dress for girls
      • Social action theory and childhood
        • Valentine
          • Children and  adults often fight over the 'right to independence'
        • Drotner et al
          • Children's use of new media has led to childhood becoming privatised, as adolescents are separated from adult and family life
      • Postmodernism and childhood
        • Giddens
          • Late modernity has seen a transformation of intimacy, which has led to more democratic relationships within the family


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