The Social Construction of Childhood

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  • Created by: Ben
  • Created on: 01-05-13 18:45
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  • The social construction of childhood...
    • The dominant framework
      • Wyness - "childhood is a natural and inevitable phase of life that we will all go through"
        • Childhood and adulthood are seen as opposites.
        • Children are seen not in their own rights but as future adults.
        • Children are regarded as at the earliest, most primitive stage of individuality.
      • Childhood should be the same across different cultures.
    • Social construction
      • Something that is created by society.
      • Childhood is constructed over a period of time and is  developed through socialization.
      • KEY STUDY: Pilippe Aries - Centuries of Childhood
        • Pioneered that childhood was a social construction.
        • In Medieval Times childhood did not exist
          • Children were expected to work
          • Both adults and children played the same games.
        • Chronological age was not significant.
        • Children often died before reaching adulthood.
        • Children were not protected from the exposure of sexuality.
        • Aries was  criticized for saying that there was no childhood in Medieval Times.
          • Conception of childhood was different.
    • The emergence of childhood
      • Modern conceptions of childhood emerged after Medieval Times
      • Introduction of school separated children from the adult world.
      • Society became more child centered with the well being and development of children seen as important.
      • Treated according to chronological age
      • Strongly mourned over if they died.
      • Not required to work.


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