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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 07-01-13 21:28

The Dominant Framework- Micheal Wyness

  • Backed up devlopmentalism in which childhood is seen as a series of stages through which children deelop

Micheal Wyness (2006)

  • Says that common sense thinking sees childhood as a 'natural and inevitable phase of life that well go through'
  • Seens as a biological state due to the physical and mental immaturity of children, so childhood should be the same across cultures and time

Main features of this framework are:

  • Childhood & adulthood are seen as opposites & childhood is seen to be lacking the key attibutes of being a person which are attained in adulthood
  • Children are regarded as at the earliest and primitive stage of individuality




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Prout & James 1997

  • Agree with Wyness, they adults and children as being opposites:

They see children as :

-nature   -simple   -amoral  -asocial  -person-in-waiting   -becoming

They see adults as:

-culture -complex -moral -social -personhood -being

Prout sees the dominant framework view of children as the product of modernity, where children are associated with a lack of rationality

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Children before and now

Children used to do/be:

  • Work from a young age- bad conditions, long hours, small pay
  • Dress in adult style clothes
  • Were producers and contributed to the family- were a economic asset
  • Have bad health- high infant mortality rates- bad health care
  • Little or no education
  • Treated as miniture adults

Children are now:

  • Low infant mortality rate- better diets
  • Education compulsory, cant leave school until 16/18, keeps them children for longer
  • Age of consent for sex- 16 years
  • Laws to restrict driving, alcohol consumption and working age- conditions and wages
  • Have become consumers, dont contribute to the family




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Childhood as a socail construct- challenges domina

  • Childhood as a social construct- isn't a natural biological stage in development but social rule which is learnt through socialisation and varies from cultures and over time.

The emergence of childhood:

  • Church leaders began to see children as 'fragile creatures' who needed to be safeguarded and reformed
  • Introduction of schools, with seperate age groups were taught, and children were segregated from the adult world, helped introduced the idea of childhood being a distinct phase of life in which children had to be kept innocent and protected from the adult world.

Development of modern attituded led to:

  • children not being required to work& treated differently due to chronological age
  • Children seenas asexual and kept away from exposure to sexuality
  • given distinctive toys and clothes, further isolating them from the adult world
  • Seen as important and in need of protection
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One explanation for the changes to childhood

Edward Shorter- 1976

  • Mother during C17th-18th showed little interest in bonding with their children, attitudes began to change during C18th bcause:

   -The idea of romantic love began to develop and children were seen as the products of a special relationship

   -Philophers, such as Jacques Roussea, popularized the idea that children were born goof and could become reasoning adults if successfully socialised.

  • By the 20th century, being a 'good' mother was considered very important and the harshness of early centuries was replaced with the desire to nuture children






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The 2nd explanation to changes to childhood

Neil Postman- 1982

  • Sees the development of childhood lying in the technological age
  • Printing press dveloped- reading became more important, extended to education, which led to the seperation of adults and children and the idea that children had to pass through age related stages as they progressed through childhood


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Childhood & Modernity- Christopher Jenks 2005

  • Believes that the development of modern childhood involves a shift from the Dionsyian image of the child to the Apollonian Image
  • Donsysian Image= Children naturally pursue their own pleasures, which can lead to them acting in eviil ways, they therefore require close control & strcit moral guidance- to grow up to be moral adults. From this sentimentality it was acceptable to put children to work
  • Apollonian IMage=(Based on Roussea's ideas) believed that children are born good, but it must be coaxed out of them sympathetically. Resulted in the idea f a child-centred education system and banning paid work for young children. Harsh physical punishmentas replaced by monitering and careful control of here children were allowed to go and what they were allowed to do
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Childhood and postmodernity- Jenks 2003

  • Believes postmodern childhood has developed,
  • Social identites are being destabilized- people no longer have a secure, grounded sense of who they are
  • Frequent divorce- class solidarity is broken down and famly life is less secure
  • Children are now final source of primary relationships- most fulfilling and unconditional relationships
  • Wives and husbands are disposable, here children are not, the bond is permenant
  • This intensifies the idea that children need to be protected, nalso helps to explain the growing anxiety about child abuse, children are therefore supervised more, parents fearful for their children and are determined to protect them


-ignores evidence that motehrs plae increasing emphasis on careers rather than children

-Neglects the variations in relationships

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