‘Examine the view that childhood is a social construction’ (24 marks)
Some sociologists see childhood as socially constructed: in other words, as something created and defined by society. They argue that what people mean by childhood, and the status of children in society, is not fixed but duffers between different times, places and cultures. This can be illustrated by comparing the western idea of childhood with childhood in the past and in other cultures. Childhood can however, be seen a social construction as the minute a baby is born it is fed clothed and bathed for 10 years, which shows how social construction takes place, as society forces us to take care of kids. So children now have to do nothing but have fun where as 100 years ago they were making children work 15 hours shift from the age of 4. This shows how society has changed to help children so this shows how a social construction has happened. Now day’s people are saying childhood is the “golden age” and that it is the best time of our lives. They are saying this because society has changed for children, so now children are loved and looked after instead of being born to work and to make money. Children not working from young ages means that now children can have a nice fun childhood instead of 100 years ago when they were made to work 15 hours a day. This would also mean the IMR would decrease so their will be more children being born, so society can change for them. Childhood however, may not be seen as a social construction as even today some children are being born into violent, abusive households, so not all children are having their so called “golden age”. Story’s such as ‘Baby P’ shows us how there is still violence towards children in the household even today. Baby P was brought up into a violent family and ended up dying, this shows how there is still some construction to take place as incidents like this are sill happening. So in order for society to be seen as a social construction...
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