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Topic 2 ­ CHILDHOOD:

Childhood as a Social Construct:

Pilcher (1995) notes that the most important feature of modern childhood is `separateness'
from adulthood ­ it is seen as a clear and distinct LIFE STAGE.
Children in our society have a different status to the adults and have different expectations…

Page 2

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Ariès claims that these ^ developments have caused the ` cult of childhood'and that we have

moved form a time that did not find anything notable in childhood to one where we are
obsessed with it.
He describes the 20th
Century as `the century of childhood'.
Pollock (1983) argues that…

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There are also ETHNIC differences: Brannen's (1994) study of 15-16 year olds showed Asian
parents as much more likely to be strict to their daughters: honour killings.
Bhatti (1999) found that izzat (family honour) could be restrictive of girl's behaviour
particularly.


Inequalities Between Children and Adults:

MOP writers believe that…

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Hockey and James conclude that this proves that children wish to escape childhood.
Critics of the child liberationalists argue that some control needs to be exercised over
children's lives because they are unable to make certain decisions for themselves.
It is also argued that children are not as helpless as…

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Some writers are concerned that children are experiencing what Palmer (2006) dubbed as the
`toxic childhood '.
Advances in technology and cultural changes in the last 25 years have stunted children's
emotional, physical and intellectual development .
These changes include: junk food, computer games, intensive marketing, the long hours worked…

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