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Evaluating the view that `childhood is ending'

What does this view assume about children and
their position in society?

What would the conflict approach say about this
view of childhood?

How could we use the idea that childhood is
socially constructed to criticise the view that
childhood is definitely ending?

Page 2

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Evaluation of the Childhood Debate
Which points claim that.....?
a) Childhood is ending
b) Childhood still exists as a separate stage
c) General criticisms of the debate

Functionalist/ New Right views assume that children are simply empty vessels,
passively socialised by parents. Morrow (1998) found that children are active

Page 3

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Lee (2001) rather claims that our understanding of childhood has simply changed
rather than ended; mainly because adulthood is also changing. Children were always
seen as the opposite of adults who were responsible, mature, developed. However,
even adults today haven't reached this stage e.g. high divorce, constantly changing
jobs, obsession…


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