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Explore empirical evidence on children's views on family life in contemporary Britain.

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Explore empirical evidence on children's views on family life in contemporary Britain It is not easy to define the family since it is rapidly changing and these changes will shape any views children may have, therefore a child's' perception of the family in the present time is likely to be very different from their own parents and grandparents. Since the family makes up the majority of a child's social network it has been found increasingly important to gain an insight into how children feel towards family life as individuals in their own right. In the past, studies have often concentrated on the parents' discipline and how the family operates as a whole, however recent studies have been conducted to focus on children's perspectives. Studies such as Mayall (2002) ...read more.


Families are for helping each other through life.' (Tara aged 13) Children have expressed strong feelings about the way in which adults sometimes have the majority of control over the way in which they live their lives. It is important to clarify at this point that it is usually older children that have these feelings. As they grow older they want more freedom and parents are often reluctant to give them this space. However, it has been suggested that 'parents recognise their child's right and wish to make her own way, to establish her own space and to construct a social life within the family and beyond' (Hallden 1991 cited in Mayall 1994:115). Younger children are more likely to hold different views as they are more dependent on family members. ...read more.


Children feel they are given mixed messages through the home and at school as to what responsibilities they should undertake. Whether society has become less safe or whether safety is coming more into focus in society; children are losing out. They cannot explore their environment without adult supervision. Children feel that the time they have to play is not their own time as adults are always in the background controlling it in one way or another. They describe it as 'Adult agendas rule the day' (Mayall 2000:1) In general, depending on culture and religion, children would like to 'have a say' in what happens to them but not necessarily make final decisions. There is a common feeling that they should be consulted and be able to give opinions. Young children are becoming more aware of the rights of children and want these put into practice in their homes and at school. ...read more.

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