Musgrove's (a functionalist) views on childhood
says the nature of childhood changes depending on the economic usefulness of children. if children have more economic use then they aren't treated gently.
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How were children treated in peasant societies? (functionalism)
concept of childhood was not about, children seen as adults as they worked on the land etc.
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What happened when children became less economically useful? (functionalism)
the birth rate decreased and children were now seen as weak and dependant. childhood got extended for socialisation and education which allows people to get jobs.
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Marxist core belief on childhood
again, like functionalism, stresses the importance of the economic usefulness of a child and then depends on their position in society.
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Marxist and the workforce
think as children were no longer needed in the workforce, it was in the interests of capitalism to stop children getting exploited in factories. instead should get the skills needed to become part of the workforce in the future.
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What do marxists say about the modern patriarchal family?
its useful to help younger people survive and be socialised. it provides food, shelter etc at the expense of other family members.
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What did Aries say about childhood? (pre industrialisation society)
its a contraction - as soon as children were no longer physically dependant on their parents, they were seen as adults.'miniature adults', didn't base off age they based off abilities and appearance.
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What did Aries base his research off?
medieval paintings - he saw there was no real difference in the way children and adults were shown. children rarely seen playing
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When did Aries think childhood started and why?
end of the 17th century. due to infant mortality rate decreasing so became more likely that children would survive childhood. people spent more time at home, toys introduced, strong father figure, children became central to the family
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Criticisms of Aries
Pollock - limited evidence, he only used paintings which were unrepresentative as only wealthy elites had paintings done. Wilson - says he's using modern beliefs about childhood and imposing it on medieval times, uses his own opinions and assumptions
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What happened in mid 19th century?
legislation to stop children doing dangerous work and restricted work hours. 1867 NSPCC set up.
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What year was compulsory education introduced?
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What is a child centred society?
when a child's needs becomes a priority and when childhood is seen as separate from adulthood.
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What did Chambers say about children?
says they have unique needs, need to be treated differently to adults and need protection from the adult world.
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What are Cunnigham's 3 features of a child centred society?
childhood is seen as the opposite of adulthood, social worlds of adults and kids are physically and symbolically separated, childhood is associated with certain rights.
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Childhood and the state
NHS (midwifes and vaccinations), state controlled education, social services (protect against neglect), laws (eg labour laws), child benefits, child act 2004 (people working with kids are responsible for their welfare)
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State three legislation examples for children
child protection plan, children and families act 2014, child support act 1991 (if parents get divorced father still has to pay money)
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In the 20th century, why did we become a child centred society?
improved standard of living so decline in infant mortality rates, better contraception, changing roles for women, higher costs of living. led to smaller more child centred families.
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What does relativity mean?
the notion that peoples experiences of social life is not the same. it differs according to their social class, ethnicity, location etc
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Gender & childhood, Sharpe, Oakley and Fine study
found boys and girls are socialised into set behaviour based on what society thinks about that gender. so genders have different childhoods. eg different room decoration, the nature of play, the interaction with parents.
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What did S, O and F find about gendered socialisation?
that its designed to teach girls the feminine skills and attitudes needed to be a home maker and a mother.
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McRobbie's study on gender and childhood
found they are treated differently by their parents. girls seen as needing more protection from the world so are more strict and spend more time at home. girls spend more time in their room socialising 'bedroom culture' but boys play outside.
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What does Chapman say about boys during childhood?
that they tone down their emotions and family intimacy so they get the masculine skills and attitudes needed for their adult roles and bread winners and wag earners.
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Social class
the experience of childhood differs depending on social classes.
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Children in different social classes
U/C - go to private boarding schools. M/C encouraged early on to go to uni and get a professional job, likely to get money from parents.
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What did Laureau find out about M/C parents?
children with m/c parents have socially constructed childhoods who engage in a 'concerted cultivation', so they make an effort to make their children the best they can be.
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What did Laureau find out about W/C parents?
emphasised the 'natural growth' of their kids, believe as long as they provide them with love, food and safety then they will grow up to be good people.
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What does Donzelot say about poor families?
they are more likely to be controlled by the state, eg they monitor the quality of parenting by health visitors to prevent the forming of bad behaviour.
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What did Nelson find out about m/c parenting?
'helicopter parents' - when they are pushy and interfere with shaping their kids life. always hovering round their children. produces spoilt and immature children who will grow up to feel entitled to do whatever they want.
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What is cultural capital (marxism)?
idea that m/c have more cultural awareness which gives them access to more experiences. eg they are more likely to make a complaint about the school.
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How does ethnicity and religion affect childhood?
Britain is multicultural so childhood differs across the groups. eg muslims feel a stronger sense of duty to their parents as they don't want to bring shame on the family.
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Shaw's research on religion
study on British Pakistani muslims, found young people were internalising islamic values and traditions, girls treated more traditionally.
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What did O'Brian say about religion?
found that 'race' and gender usually interact to have a negative impact on the experience of childhood
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Evidence to show childhood is a social construction
Punch - found in Bolivia children work over 30 hours a week for exploitive pay. Holland - children are seen as the happiest in the world, 95% of kids considered themselves as happy. Africa boys are soldiers and human shields.
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Melanie Philips view on childhood - new right perspective
says children have been given too much power by the state, which undermines parents authority. says media and peer groups are more influential than parents as media sexualises kids for example so childhood is being lost
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Sue Palmer view on childhood - new right perspective
says adults benefit from a wealthy society as technology advances. but says tech harms children as parents use them as alternative parenting method. deprives kids of traditional childhood
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Postman's view on childhood - new right perspective
tv exposes children to the adult world too soon so childhood is under threat. tv means no secrets can be kept from children, exposed to the 'real world'. and 'social blurring' which means little distinction between adults and children
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What are the criticisms of Postman's views?
not based on solid evidence. recent studies show adults are actually taking more control of children's lives eg Brooks say they are very concerned with health and safety.
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In conclusion, what do new rights think of childhood?
that technology is what is wrong with childhood, they think children are growing up too fast.
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Evans and Chandler - children as consumers
peer pressure from friends pushes children to ask their parents for goods. eg branded clothing is more accepted by peers. and teasing if someone didn't have certain items.
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What did Van Rompaey and Roe say about childhood?
new media leads to families 'living together but separately'. tension between child and parents as they may restrict phone usage as want to protect them. children may feel they are invading their personal space so conflict may occur.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How were children treated in peasant societies? (functionalism)


concept of childhood was not about, children seen as adults as they worked on the land etc.

Card 3


What happened when children became less economically useful? (functionalism)


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Card 4


Marxist core belief on childhood


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Marxist and the workforce


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