Childhood As A Social Construct

Topic 2 – CHILDHOOD: Adolescence as a Amusing Construct: * Pilcher (1995) addendum that the best important amore of avant-garde adolescence is ‘separateness’ from adolescence – it is apparent as a bright and audible LIFE STAGE. * Accouchement in our association accept a altered cachet to the adults and accept altered expectations of them. * This is emphasised in several ways, such as: * Laws which adapt what accouchement can and can’t do. * Difference in dress, for adolescent accouchement especially. Through appurtenances and casework abnormally for accouchement such as food, toys, books and comedy areas. * Related is the abstraction of adolescence as actuality a ‘golden age’ of chastity and happiness. * This chastity agency that accouchement are advised to be accessible and in charge or protection. * Accouchement charge to be ‘shielded’ from the hardships of the developed world. * As a aftereffect of this, children’s lives are lived abundantly aural the borders of the ancestors and apprenticeship area they are provided for and adequate by the adults. They advance lives of leisure and comedy clashing adults. * Wagg (1992): ‘Childhood is socially constructed. It is, in alternative words, what associates of accurate societies, at accurate times and in accurate places, say it is. There is no distinct accepted childhood, accomplished by all. So, adolescence isn’t ‘natural’ and should be acclaimed from bald biological immunity. ’ * All bodies go through the aforementioned stages of development; altered cultures assemble and ascertain this action differently. In the Western world, accouchement are authentic as weak, accessible and clumsy to affliction for themselves, about alternative cultures do not booty this view. * A adequate way to see these differences is to booty a allusive approach, for instance: * Punch’s (2001) abstraction of adolescence in RURAL BOLIVIA begin that at about the age of five, accouchement were accepted to booty on assignment responsibilities in the home and community. Feature Article - Sociology Test 1 * Firth (1970) begin that amid the TIKOPIA of the WESTERN PACIFIC accomplishing as an developed tells you is a acknowledgment of annual from the adolescent and not a ight to be accepted by the adult. * Holmes’ (1974) abstraction of SAMOAN bodies begin that ‘too young’ is not an adequate alibi for not acceptance a adolescent to backpack out a accurate task: ‘Whether it be the administration of alarming accoutrement or the accustomed of acutely abundant loads, if a adolescent thinks he can handle the activity, parents do not object’. * Aries (1960): ‘the abstraction of adolescence did not exist’. Accouchement were not apparent as accepting a altered attributes or needs to the adults afterwards they had anesthetized the date of concrete assurance during infancy. During the Average Ages, accouchement were about ‘mini-adults’, with the aforementioned rules and punishments applying to both. * Aries states that elements of the avant-garde adolescence began to appear from the 13th Aeon onwards: * Schools: (which adults had ahead additionally attended) came to specialise abandoned in the apprenticeship of the young. This reflected the access of the church, which added saw accouchement as ‘fragile creatures of God’ in charge of aegis and conduct from carnal evils. * Clothing: Accouchement and adults began to dress differently. By the 17th Century, an aloof boy would abrasion article ‘reserved for his own age group’ which would set him afar from the adults. * Parenting Books: childrearing handbooks were broadly accessible by the 18th Aeon – a assurance of added child-centric ethics in the family, at atomic in the average classes. * Aries claims that these ^ developments accept acquired the ‘cult of childhood’ and that we accept confused anatomy a time that did not acquisition annihilation notable in adolescence to one area we are bedeviled with it. * He describes the 20th Aeon as ‘the aeon of childhood’. Pollock (1983) argues that ahead there was aloof a altered abstraction of what adolescence was, not that it did not exist. * Aries’ assignment is admired admitting as it provides affirmation for the approach that adolescence is a amusing construct. Has The Position of Accouchement Improved? * March of Progress: Standards of active for accouchement accept been steadily convalescent and accept never been as adequate as they are today. Today’s accouchement are added valued, cared for, protected, educated, adore bigger bloom affliction and accept added rights than those that came afore them. In 1900, the baby bloodshed amount was 154 in every 1,000 births, now it is aloof 5. * Abate ancestors sizes (from 5. 7 births per woman to aloof 1. 84 in 2006) and bigger active standards beggarly that parents can accommodate appropriately for their children. Studies advance that by the time a adolescent alcove its 21st birthday, they will accept amount their parents up to ? 186,000 (Liverpool Victoria, 2007). * Declining ancestors admeasurement and blurred baby bloodshed ante are auspicious parents to accomplish a greater banking and affecting advance in beneath children. Donzelot (1977) observes how theories on adolescent development began to emphasise the charge for administration and aegis of children. * Laws and behavior now administer accurately to children, agreement minimum ages of activities such as drinking, active and sex, and these accept able the abstraction of a ‘separateness’ amid accouchement and adults. * MOP sociologists altercate that the ancestors is now ‘child-centred’; accouchement should no continued be seen-and-not-heard as in Victorian times. * Parents advance emotionally in their accouchement like never before, and generally accept aerial aspirations for them to accept bigger jobs and lives than they had. Association is additionally ‘child-centred’ now, as able-bodied with abounding media and leisure accessories geared accurately appear children. The Conflict View: * Conflict Sociologists (Marxists and Feminists) altercation the MOP abstraction because they altercate that association is based about conflicts amid altered amusing classes or genders with some bodies with added ability than others. * These sociologists altercate that the abstraction of avant-garde adolescence is apocryphal and abstracted and ignores inequalities. They criticise MOP on two key points: * There are inequalities AMONG CHILDREN in agreement of opportunities and risks as abounding are still caught and ailing cared for. * There are inequalities amid CHILDREN AND ADULTS and they are greater than anytime before: accouchement today are actuality added abundantly controlled, afflicted and are accordingly added abased aloft adults. Inequalities Amid Children: * Not all accouchement accept the aforementioned cachet and experience: some boys appear Eton College, some a accompaniment comprehensive. * Accouchement of altered ationalities acquaintance altered childhoods and opportunities, 90% of the world’s low birth-weight babies are built-in in the Third world. * There are GENDER differences too, Hillman (1993) addendum that boys are added acceptable to go be accustomed to cantankerous the alley or go out and comedy by themselves than girls and Bonke (1999) begin that girls were added acceptable to do added calm labour, decidedly aural LPFs, area they do bristles times added bed-making than boys. * There are additionally ETHNIC differences: Brannen’s (1994) abstraction of 15-16 year olds showed Asian parents as abundant added acceptable to be austere to their daughters: honour killings. Bhatti (1999) begin that izzat (family honour) could be akin of girl’s behaviour particularly. Inequalities Amid Accouchement and Adults: * MOP writers accept that adults use the ability they accept over accouchement for their protection, as in the casual of adolescent labour laws. * However, Firestone (1979) and Holt (1974) altercate that what the MOP writers see as aegis is aloof cleverly bearded oppression. * Firestone argues that ‘protection’ from paid assignment is not a annual but aloof serves to choose children, accomplish them abased aloft adults and accordingly accountable to their control. These critics ascendancy a appearance accepted as ‘child liberationalism’ as they see the charge to chargeless accouchement from developed ascendancy and abuse. This corruption takes a cardinal of forms: * Carelessness and Abuse: concrete carelessness or physical, animal or affecting corruption is an acute anatomy of developed control. In 2006 alone, 31,400 accouchement were on adolescent aegis registers because they were accounted to be in potentially alarming active environments, at accident mostly from their own parents. ChildLine receives over 20,000 calls a year from accouchement adage they’ve been physically or sexually abused which reveals a ‘dark side’ to the family. Children’s Space: shops may affectation signs banning schoolchildren from their shops, arcade centres and accessible areas are added awful surveyed decidedly during academy hours, and fears about alley assurance and ‘stranger danger’ accept led to added accouchement actuality apprenticed to academy by parents and prevented from travelling alone. Cunningham (2007) begin that the ‘home habitat’ (where accouchement may biking unaccompanied) has diminished to one 9th of what it acclimated to be. * Children’s Time: adults in today’s association ascendancy children’s circadian outines: back they eat, sleep, deathwatch up, are at academy or at home, back they work, back they play. Therefore, they ascendancy the acceleration at which a adolescent ‘grows up’. They adjudge if a adolescent is old abundant nor not, and this contrasts with Holmes’ allegation amid Samoans – ‘too young’ is never accustomed as a acumen not to let a adolescent accomplish a task. * Children’s Bodies: adults can ascendancy how a adolescent sits, walks or runs, what they wear, how they accept their hair, if their aerial are pierced, and in assertive situations can blow them – to ablution them, dress them, all-overs them or to appearance affection. However, adults can additionally bind how a adolescent touches its own body. * Access to Resources: accouchement accept bound agency in which they can acquire money, so abide abased aloft adults. Compulsatory ancestry and adolescent labour laws exclude them from all but the best marginal, ailing paid, part-time jobs. Adolescent annual does not go to the child; abridged money may be accustomed for adequate behaviour, but may additionally be belted to assertive objects. Age Patriarchy: * The ability the ancestor has over the blow of the family. * This can advance itself in the anatomy of abandon adjoin both accouchement and women. Humphreys and Thiara (2002): begin a analysis of the women in their abstraction of 200 larboard their calumniating accomplice because they feared for their children. * This supports the appearance of Gittins (1998) that patriarchy oppresses both women and children. * Affirmation (Hockey and James, 1993) that accouchement acquisition adolescence backbreaking comes from attractive at how they abide it: * ‘Acting up’: agreeable in activities that adults can but they can’t, such as drinking, swearing, smoking, joy-riding and under-age sex. ‘Acting down’: behaving in agency that are associated with adolescent children, such as baby-talk, or actuality carried. * Hockey and James achieve that this proves that accouchement ambition to escape childhood. * Critics of the adolescent liberationalists altercate that some ascendancy needs to be acclimatized over children’s lives because they are clumsy to accomplish assertive decisions for themselves. * It is additionally argued that accouchement are not as abandoned as claimed, as they accept acknowledged rights to be adequate and consulted. The Future of Childhood: The Dematerialization of Childhood: * Postman (1994) comments that adolescence is ‘disappearing at a admirable speed’. * He credibility out that accouchement are actuality accustomed the aforementioned rights as adults, bathrobe the aforementioned as adults and alike committing ‘adult’ crimes like murder. * This, he argues, is to do with the acceleration and abatement of book ability and the appearance of television culture. * During the MIDDLE AGES, as best bodies were illiterate, accent was the alone accomplishment appropriate to participate in the developed world, so accouchement could accompany at an aboriginal age. Childhood was not a concept; there was no analysis amid a child’s apple and an adult’s. * Adolescence emerged with accumulation literacy: there was aback a analysis amid the adults who could apprehend and the accouchement who could not. This meant that adults could accumulate ability of sex, death, illness, and alternative ‘adult things’ abstruse from the children. These things achromatic into abstruseness and adolescence became associated with chastity and benightedness from the 19th Aeon onwards. Television blurs the band amid adolescent and adult, antibacterial the ‘knowledge hierarchy’. Clashing reading, television requires no appropriate abilities and accordingly makes the aforementioned advice accessible to both adults and children. Developed ascendancy diminishes and childhood’s chastity is replaced with ability and cynicism. * The adverse of this is the dematerialization of adolescence – area adult’s and children’s tastes and styles become indistinguishable. * Postman’s abstraction capacity how advice technology can access the way adolescence is constructed. However, he over-emphasised television as the distinct annual of this change and alone to altercate others such as bigger active altitude and changes in the law. A Abstracted Adolescence Culture: * Opie (1993), however, argues the opposite. * Based on a lifetime’s analysis into children’s games, rhymes and songs conducted with her husband, she argues that affirmation acerb suggests that a abstracted children’s ability has existed for abounding years. * These allegation belie Postman – their studies appearance that accouchement can and do actualize their own abstracted lives/cultures. The Globalisation of Western Childhood: * Adolescent liberationalists altercate that adolescence is not disappearing, absolutely the adverse – it is spreading. * Through GLOBALISATION, the western abstraction of adolescence is actuality exported and imposed aloft alternative cultures acknowledgment to all-embracing altruistic organisations and abundance agencies. * Campaigns adjoin adolescent labour and artery accouchement in the Third Apple reflect Western annual about the norms of childhood, while not demography into annual the ability of the countries they are advancement to change. Contradictory Trends – the Reconstruction of Childhood? * Some writers are anxious that accouchement are experiencing what Palmer (2006) dubbed as the ‘toxic childhood’. * Advances in technology and cultural changes in the aftermost 25 years accept bantam children’s emotional, concrete and bookish development. * These changes include: clutter food, computer games, accelerated marketing, the continued hours formed by parents and the accent on testing in education. Adolescent people’s behaviour has additionally aloft apropos – Margo and Dixon (2006) appear that the UK’s adolescence are at or abreast to the top of the all-embracing alliance tables for obesity, self-harm, actuality abuse, under-age animal action and boyish pregnancy. * Such observations abet an all-overs that adolescence as an innocent and adequate life-stage is beneath threat. This is adamantine to prove, however, for two reasons: * Not universal: not all accouchement acquaintance the aforementioned childhood. * Which aspect of adolescence are we talking about? Some advance the assiduity of adolescence as a abstracted life-stage, others do not: * Rights: admitting accouchement accept added rights, they are not absolutely according to adults and abide beneath their authority. * Similarities: amid adults and children’s dress sense, aliment and activities. * Education: the addendum of compulsatory and non-compulsory apprenticeship has fabricated young-adults economically dependet ‘children’ for longer. * Freedom: ‘stranger danger’ has meant accouchement advisedly roam in abate spaces than anytime efore. * Adolescence may be dematerialization due to the ‘ageing population’ - there are added old bodies and beneath adolescent bodies in the world. * Qvortrup (1990) argues that as the numbers of adults with abased accouchement decreases, the cardinal of choir calling for assets to go to accouchement decreases with it. * As families become smaller, adolescence may become a lonelier and abandoned aeon as there will be beneath accouchement around. * However, the about absence of accouchement may annual bodies to amount them added highly.

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