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Childhood Essay

833 words - 4 pages

The Nature of childhood- Data Response Pg. 119

(a) The term a ‘child-centered society’ used by sociologists is where society does a lot for the children. For example the increased availability and efficiency of contraception allows people to choose to have fewer children to enable them to invest more into their children in terms of care, love and buying things their children want.

(b) Differences between childhood in pre-industrial societies and contemporary industrial societies:
* In contemporary industrial societies childhood was the opposite of adulthood in which children were seen to be in need of protection, to have the right not to work and to be dependant on adults. ...view middle of the document...

* The Child Support Act (1991) deals with the care, bringing up and protection of children. It protects children’s welfare in the event of parental separation and divorce in which the child has a say themselves of the experiences and needs. In some case children have used the act to ‘divorce’ their parents or even use it to ‘force’ their separate/divorced parent s to see the more regularly.

(d) Assess the view that childhood is not a fixed universal experience.

Childhood, based on sociologist opinions is that it is not a fixed universal experience, this is called social construction, meaning that the ideas about what childhood is, is created by society. So each individual's society differently defines childhood and also determines how the children should be treated.

In the Pre-industrial times, children were seen as ‘little adults’, and they took part in the same work and play activities as the adults. Toys and games specifically for children did not exist. As soon as the children were physically able they would be sent to do laboring in the fields. They were seen as a unit of production. The children's leisure time was short and for them life was very hard. Philippe Aries (1962) says that children were regarded as an economic asset rather than a symbol of love for one another. He argues that 'childhood' as we understand it today is a new...

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