• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the arguments and evidence in favour of the view that childhood is socially constructed

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the arguments and evidence in favour of the view that childhood is socially constructed Childhood is defined as a childlike state from birth to puberty. The social construction of childhood is a concept that childhood was created by society. Childhood has changed over the years; it is mainly due to industrialisation that the concept of a childhood was invented. Pre-industrial Britain saw children as an economic asset and by the age of 5 they could work and have sex. New industries depended on the skills of the young, and they were an added insurance to the parents as they grew older. Industrial Britain saw a child's economic role become marginalised with restrictions of child labour, as the concept of 'childhood' grew. They were given compulsory schooling and were in need of protection and guidance. And finally in the 20th century children needed love and attention, and there was a growing awareness of children's rights and empowerment. ...read more.

Middle

This is evidence to show that childhood is socially constructed because with the changing attitudes laws were being put in place to stop children working to have a childhood. The working class resisted the new law as they needed their child's wage to support the family. By the 20th century, there was a distinctive emergence of a child centred society. It was a result of improved standards of health and nutrition, which led to a major decline in infant mortality. The higher standard of living meant that having children was more expensive. So people chose to have fewer and could invest in them in terms of love, socialisation and protection. Consequently, childhood was seen as a separate category from adulthood, and children were seen as needing special attention and protection. Due to this view of a childhood, the state stepped in. The parent's rearing of children is monitored though the 1980 Child Care Act and the 1991 Child Support Act. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly, LEDC's are at risk of early death because of poverty and lack of healthcare. Secondly, Sikhs and Muslims have a stronger sense of obligation to their parents than Caucasian children. Thirdly, middle class children are given more support and encouragement from parents than working class parents. And finally, boys and girls may be socialised into a set of behaviours based on expectations of masculinity and femininity. The alternative view state that childhood experiences can be damaging, and that different types of abuse all have a negative effect on children. Both these approaches see children in need of protection and care - allowing them to have a childhood. Thus proving that childhood has been created because they wouldn't have had attention and care before industrialisation. In conclusion, Childhood is a prefabricated concept that has recently occurred during the industrialisation. Childhood depends on the nationality, gender, class and ethnicity of the child. There have major steps towards making childhood and carefree as possible for the child. Britain is unlikely to revert back to pre-industrial times, as a child centred society has been created. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Morris 14/04/08 Family ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Are Gender Roles Socially Constructed?

    XX cross-dressed children whose gender identities have not been fixed and observed that their judgement on gender-related activities change according to the gender type of the clothing they wore. Kohlberg (1966) believes that once a child has learned their gender is fixed, he or she will pursue information on how to behave accordingly.

  2. Discuss the ways that domestic ideology constructed femininity and what this meant for women's ...

    According to Hall, meaning is constructed by how we incorporate these concepts into our everyday lives and give value to them. (Hall, p.4) The cultural circuit is concerned with representation and the production and exchange of meaning, how this maintains identity and marks out difference and how this is consumed and regulated.

  1. In what ways is Disability Constructed by Society?

    It is based upon the idea of modern Western medicine. There is a constant battle of disease between Doctors and illnesses. Doctors are thought of as good and disease the enemy. Doctors hold the medical model with the ability to cure the individual of their illness.

  2. Discuss the ways in which British cities have become more socially divided in the ...

    it is recognized that unemployment and poor housing are leading determinants when examining the nature of poverty and the processes that lead to social division When addressing the processes involved in social division, relevant attempts to combat the problems brought about by increasing segregation and polarisation have to acknowledge the

  1. ASSESS THE SOCIOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS AND EVIDENCE THAT RELIGION IS A CONSERVATIVE FORCE IN SOCIETY ...

    This God upholds American values such as democracy, capitalism, individualism and upward mobility. American civil religion includes supernatural beliefs; an example would be American currency which states 'In God we trust'. US presidents swear on oath of allegiance before God and 'God we trust' ends US speeches.

  2. Construction of Childhood

    Phillipe Aries in his book Centuries of Childhood, states his view that the cultures back then "lacked the concept of childhood" he goes on to call children "little adults", as their learned process, attitudes and mannerisms were that of adults including the way they were dressed.

  1. Gender Socialisation

    But there is still a lot of discrimination going on around the world, it happens both openly and discreetly. Gender Roles in the home You play with dolls, you learn manners, you obey your parents, you never talk back, you marry, you give birth, and you stay at home.

  2. A Comparison of Parental and Non-Parental Attitudes Towards Prenatal Screening.

    will increase in the future, and that scientists will soon have methods of identifying more disease-causing genes as well as the DNA that produces characteristics such as height, athletic ability, and perhaps even behaviour. Most ethicists see no problem with parents trying to avoid a genetic disease in their offspring.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work