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How far do different theories of child development take account of social and cultural factors?

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  • Essay length: 2010 words
  • Submitted: 14/06/2009
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How far do different theories of child development take account of social and cultural factors?

In this essay I will be examining the concept of childhood and outlining some of the historical approaches towards childhood and development, and how far do the different theories of child development take account of social and cultural factors. Before that, let's look at the concept 'childhood'. Childhood is a complex concept. It varies both between and within cultures and is frequently changing. For this reason it is difficult to definitively describe childhood and we can only talk in very general terms. In the western economically rich world childhood is generally seen as a time when children are carefree and cared for. In an ideal situation they are encouraged to play, have fun, learn and develop ideally at their own pace. People's idea about child and childhood may vary depending upon their occupation, gender, ethnicity, their own experience and preferences.

Child development has always remained under close observation by various psychologists and sociologists. In this regard, a large number of theories exist which highlight various factors involved in the development of a child. Contemporary developmental theorists recognize the child as an active

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