Sociology Unit 1- Childhood.

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Childhood.

Childhood is a social construction and varies between times, places and groups. Most sociologists see our idea of childhood as a fairly recent one, the result of industrialisation and other social changes. Modern society constructs childhood as a time of vulnerability, innocence and segregation from the adult world. Pilcher notes, the most important feature of the modern idea of childhood is sparateness. Children in our society occupy a seperate status from adults, emphasised through regulating children e.g. laws, toys, books, TV, play areas, clothing, products and services. Childhood is seen as a 'golden age' of happiness and innocence, adults provide for them and protect them from the outside world.
Stephan Wagg disagrees arguing "there is no single universal childhood experienced by all- childhood should be distinguished from mere biological immaturity. For example, in western cultures today children are defined as vunreable and unable to fend for themselves. However, other cultures do not see a great difference between children and adults. Benedict argues children living in non-industrial societies are treated differently; they take repsonsibility at an early age Holmes study of a Samoan village found that "too young" was never given as a reason for not

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