Assess sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood?
Childhood is a social construction and varies between times, places and groups. Most sociologists see our ides of childhood as a fairly recent one, the result of industrialisation and other social changes. Modern society constructs childhood as a tie of vulnerability, innocence and segregation from the adult world. The March of progress sociologist believe we live in an increasingly child-centred society. They state that children have existence of child poverty, abuse and exploitation. Child liberationists argue that children in modern western society are victims of age patriarchy and are subject to adult control. Some argue that we are witnessing the disappearance of childhood as the media erode the boundary between childhood and adulthood. Others argue that the west is imposing its idea of childhood on the third world.
“Aries describes a medieval world in which, if children were not actually the equals of adults, they nevertheless mixed freely with adults in both work and leisure” this was identified by item A. Item A suggests that industrialisation brought major changes to the position of children. This was suggested by Aries who said that the elements of the modern notion of childhood gradually began to emerge from the 13th century onwards; schools was one of them previously adults attended as well became to specialise purely in the education of the young. This reflected the influence of the church, which increasing saw children as fragile “creatures of God” in need of discipline and protection from worldly evils. Another one of them was the growing distinction between children’s and adults clothing. By the 17th century an upper class boy would be dressed in an outfit reserved for his own age group, which set him apart from adults. Lastly Aries identified that by the end of 18th century, handbooks on childrearing were widely available a sign of the growing child-centeredness of...
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