Why Is Childhood so Difficult to Define? Is There Something Like One Childhood?

Topics: Childhood, Sociology, Human Pages: 3 (805 words) Published: January 6, 2013
1. Why is childhood difficult to define?

The term ‘childhood’ is a social invention and you cannot explain this term without understanding the ‘context of childhood’. That means, that childhood is not equal in every part of the world and it is defined by the cultural expectations towards being a child. If you try to define childhood in your own words, you may come up with different suggestions, which reflect very much to your own experiences. But you can’t find a general definition that fits to every young human being in the world. An adult person is often described as a finished product. This includes that children are unfinished products, as both physically and mentally. But is this true? In other parts of the world, for example India, children have to work as soon as children start going to school in Europe. This shows, that being a child has very much to do with the expectation of behaviour and function of a child in a certain age. Further, how can somebody ever suggest a human being as a “complete and finished product”? A human being never stops developing, learning and processing on both physical and psychological stages. When a new human being is born, it is small and helpless, then it grows and learns being responsible for it’s own activities. I think, that the term childhood describes everything that is going on in between being “produced”, born and standing on it’s own feet. But that is just placed in my mind, because my culture told me so. Therefore my personal idea of childhood is socially constructed, like everybody’s opinion of ‘childhood’. The term childhood can’t be defined as one common valid explanation. It is an invented term and always depends on which culture and legality you refer. That’s the reason why childhood is so difficult to define.

2. Is there such a thing as one childhood? Explain your answer.

I don’t think that there is such a thing as one childhood. There are several reasons for it. First of all, as I mentioned...
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