This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Assess Sociological Explanations Of Changes In The Status Of Childhood

1439 words - 6 pages

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood (24 marks)
Sociologists argue about what the term ‘childhood’ actually means. They claim that childhood is a social construction, rather than a biological or natural state. This essay will therefore attempt to assess whether there have been any changes in the status of childhood. I will be looking at the views of various sociologists and how society is changing the way in which children are treated. This essay will look at whether the changes, if any, are the most advantageous for the child.
Neil Postman (1994) says that childhood is ‘disappearing at a dazzling speed’. He says ...view middle of the document...

This was to bring income into the home and children were generally not sent to school. This meant that the only real skill the children needed to be a part of the ‘adult’ world was the power of speech. Childhood was not associated with innocence, and there was no sense of mystery within the adult world.
Looking at today’s view of childhood, it is clear to say that childhood is dependent on the culture and society in which a child grows up. The media will also affect childhood as television and magazines/newspapers will encourage children to buy products that will go against society’s norms of what is considered to be the correct behaviour for a child – adverts on the television will encourage young girls to buy ‘play’ make up or dollies so that they can act like the mothers and boys will be persuaded to buy toy guns, which only promotes violence. Item A says that ‘childhood is becoming blurred’ which is a consensus that agrees with Postman’s thesis because of the cultural changes to commercialisation, which lets the media advertise to children, only to make money and profit at the expense of the children.
The March of Progress view states that over the last few centuries, the position of children in western societies has been steadily improving and is better today than it has ever been. This depicts the past as a very dark picture De Mause (1974) even goes so far as to say: “This history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of childcare, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorised and sexually abused”.
Aries and Shorter hold a march of progress view and believe that children today are more valued, better cared for, protected and enjoy more benefits than of previous generations. Children today are protected from harm and exploitation by laws against child abuse and child labour. Nowadays, children have an array of professionals to cater for their educational, psychological and medical needs. In 2007/8 the government spent an estimated £64 billion pounds on education. Better healthcare and higher standards of living mean that babies now have a much better chance of survival than a century ago. Higher living standards and smaller family sizes mean that parents are now able to provide for the children properly. It is estimated that once a child reaches their 21st birthday, they will have cost their parents £186,000. March of progress sociologists say that the family has become child-centred and that they are now the focal point of the family. Parents now invest a lot of time into caring for their children emotionally as well as supporting them financially. Parents have high aspirations for their children and encourage them to have a better life and greater opportunities than they had themselves. Having this strong dependency on their parents contradicts the views on childhood in the Middle Ages. This is a positive...

Other Essays Like Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood

Using Material Form Item 2(B) and Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations of the Increase in the Number of Divorces Since the 1960s

1175 words - 5 pages Using material form Item 2(b) and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of the increase in the number of divorces since the 1960s The amount of divorcees after 1960 has increased drastically. In 1931 less than 4,000 people got divorced, in 2004 it was over 165,000. The main reason for this increase in the number of divorces since the 1960s is the fact that they changed the laws on divorce. Before 1960 the only people who could afford to

Using Material from Item B and Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations of Ethnic Differences Both in Offending and in Victimisation

622 words - 3 pages underachieve in education. Some of these reasons include the 'laddish' sub-culture of boys, boys behavioural problems, boys over-confidence, and the decline of traditional male jobs. One reason that explains the underachieve of boys in education is because of the introduction of 'laddish' subcultures. Forde et al peer group pressure encourage boys to maintain a masculine identity, which is mainly developed through resistance to school and can

Examine Different Sociological Views on Changes in the Experience of Childhood in the Past 50 Years or so. (24)

732 words - 3 pages many changes in society that have affected children over the last 50 years, however there are several there are several different sociological views on whether these changes have been beneficial to children or not. Functionalist sociologists have the “March of progress” view, as they believe that the experience of childhood has massively improved over the last 50 years. They take the view that childhood is socially constructed and vary

Assess sociological explanations of science and ideology as a belief systems

1818 words - 8 pages Assess sociological explanations of science and ideology as a belief system. Science has obviously had a massive impact on the world and some sociologists argue that science is a open belief while some sociologists argue that science is instead a closed belief system, resisting change. A belief system is a set of beliefs and ideas that help people to make sense of an interpret the world, for example, Christianity believes that God created

Assess Freud’s Contribution to the Sociological Understanding of ‘the Self’

3811 words - 16 pages Assess Freud’s contribution to the sociological understanding of ‘the self’. Sigmund Freud is without a doubt one of the most famous and controversial psychologist in history. His nephew Edward Bernays and his daughter Anna have also made names for themselves in the academic world in the field of psychology. Their ideas have influenced the world in many forms and their ideas still hold sway today. All have contributed to a better

Critically Assess the Current Practice and Status of Hrm

2029 words - 9 pages Critically assess the current practice and status of HRM. Nowadays an important factor, which determines the company's successful co-existence and survival in a competitive market environment, is their employees. A strong, cohesive and qualified team, which can respond fast to the change in the external environment and is able to carry out the goal of a business manager – to survive in a competitive environment, to promote business

Origins And Explanations Of The Sonnet

1336 words - 6 pages Origins and Explanations of The Sonnet The sonnet originates in Italy in the 12th and 13th century. The term comes from the Italian for "little song" and the best known Italian sonneteers were Dante and Francesco Petrarca. Petrarch proved most influential on the sonnet's successive history, leaving his predominant theme of secular love as well as the form itself to subsequent poets. In 14th century Italy the sonnet was

‘Learning’ to Improve the Status of Women in India

2455 words - 10 pages ‘Learning’ to Improve the Status of Women in India. Rural India: Discussing how Illiteracy and a poor Education System play a role in Gender Inequality. The movie "Matrubhoomi" has been based in the rural areas of Bihar. The set-up is that of a village, which is entirely cut out from the 'real' world. The movie has tried to bring about a sort of awareness about the social problems the people face on a day to day basis. To give a brief

Explanations of Crime

2041 words - 9 pages want to experience success valued by society. These young people struggle in society because of their position in the social class structure. This status frustration prevents them from progressing in the social class hierarchy. Cohen disagreed with Merton stating that instead of turning to crime, young people reject the norms and values of mainstream society opting for a delinquent subculture. This gives an individual the opportunity to gain

Sociological Analysis Of The Film Riding In Cars With Boys

1819 words - 8 pages Sociological Analysis of The Film Riding in Cars with Boys Beverly, the main character of “Riding in Cars With Boys” fell into the categories of heterosexual, female. Beverly’s family of orientation consisted of her mother and father. The movie begins with Beverly participating in a craze with the most popular guy in school, who is a member of a voluntary, closed group of jocks. Beverly decides to use her innate ability for writing to

Assess the Contribution of Marxism

832 words - 4 pages Sociology essay Intro Assess the contribution of Marxism to our understanding of families and household. Marxism is the political and economic theory formed by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels. “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” – Karl Marx He is trying to say religion is the drug of people. It’s what keeps them alive in these

Related Papers

Asses The Sociological Explanations Of The Changes In The Status Of Children

888 words - 4 pages Assess the sociological explanations of changes in the status of children (24 marks) Childhood is a socially defined age-status. There are major differences in how childhood is defined both historically and cross-culturally. Some may believe that childhood is biological. The age and development of children are biologically determined as these remain the same throughout time and cultures. But childhood, the way children are viewed and treated

Assess Sociological Explanations Of Ethnic Differences In Educational Achievement

1529 words - 7 pages Assess sociological explanations of ethnic differences in educational achievement. (20) Tony Lawson and Joan Garrod (2000) define ethnic groups as ‘people who share common history, customs and identity, as well as, in most cases, language and religion, and who see themselves as a distinct unit.’ When talking about culture we use terms such as customs, language and religion that is, about all of the things that are learned, shared and valued

Assess Sociological Explanations Of Gender Differences In The Patterns Of Crime

628 words - 3 pages ). This shows that there is a difference in gender crime as men are mostly suspects of crime and commit more serious ones. However some sociologists argue that official statistics are wrong and do not show the real difference in gender crimes. As they argue that as women commit more minor crimes they are usually let go without any further actions taken to them. Therefore this shows that official statistics does not show the real gender rates of

Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere Assess The Different Sociological Explanations Of Suicide. (21 Marks)

1130 words - 5 pages , qualitative methods should be used to analyse the possible causes of death. That way, we can build up a classification of suicide meanings. As Douglas takes the interpretivist approach, the interpretivist explanations of suicide aim to study suicide in a non-scientific manner unlike the positivist explanations. They reject using statistics to look at why people commit suicide and prefer to try and understand the meanings behind why they would commit