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Sociology- Family and Households > Childhood > Flashcards

Flashcards in Childhood Deck (19)
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What are social constructs?

When the meaning of something is defined by the norms and values of society


What are the key features of WYNESS's dominant framework?

1. Childhood & adulthood are seen as opposites

2. Children aren't seen in their own right but are seen as future adults

3. Children are most primitive stage of individuality


Who quoted 'A natural and inevitable phase of life that we all go through' and what is being described?

Micheal Wyness
Commonsense thinking


What is decelopmentalism?

When childhood is seen as a series of stages through which children develop as they get closer to adulthood


(Centuries of childhood)

Idea of childhood as a social construction

In mediaeval times modern conceptions of childhood didn't exist:
- Chronological age wasn't considered significant
-Children often died before reaching adulthood
-Children were expected to do work as soon as they good
-Few specialist clothes sized for children
-Children not protected from exposure to sexulaity


What factors lead AIRES to believe towards the end of the mediaeval period, modern conceptions of childhood were appearing?

-Church leaders saw children as 'fragile creatures who needed to be safeguarded and reformed'

-Introduction of schools

-Society became more child-centred


As modern attitudes to childhood developed, children were...

-Treated according to their chronological age
-Seen as important and in need of protection
-Strongly mourned if they died
-Not required to work
-Given distinctive clothing
-Kept away from exposure to sexuality


(Childhood and the modern family)

Described development of childhood

Attitudes changed in 18th century because:

-Romantic love began to develop, children see as products of special relationships
-Children could reasoning adults if successfully socialized
-Ways to best raise children circulated


(Other explanations of the development of childhood)

Explanation for changes in childhood as lying in technological change.

Printing press development: learning to read became important
-led to separation of adults and children
- children had to pass through age-related stages


Childhood and modernity?

Dionysian image: assumes children naturally pursue their own pleasure
-Require close control and strict moral guidance to grow up to be moral adults

Apollonian image: children are born good but good side must be coaxed out of them sympathetically


Childhood and postmodernity?

Believed postmodern childhood has developed.

Identities have been stabilized so people have grounded sense of who they are.

Children have become the final source of primary relationships
-Intensifies sense that children need to be protected


Why was JENKS criticised?

He ignored evidence that mothers place increasing emphasis on careers rather than children


What did POSTMAN claim about childhood?

Distinction between childhood and adulthood has been eroded- childhood no longer exists


What did POSTMAN claim were the reasons for the disappearance of childhood?

1. Growth of mass media has exposed children to adult world
Easy for them to access images of sex and suffering on TV programs

2. The difference is increasingly blurred
- Children dress in more adult ways (more sexualised)
- Adult trying to dress in more youthful ways
- Lack of clear-cut transition as adolescence is extended


Children as consumers?

Increasing participation of children in consumption.

Strong peer pressure amongst children to persuade parents to buy latest designer good


The continuing distinctiveness of childhood?

Accepted there is increasing confusion over the nature of childhood, doesn't believe it is disappearing.

Children are highly regulated and restricted by laws which control behaviour in public spaces


What did MAYALL say about the underestimated ability of children?

Most ideas on childhood are children are adultist- see children from adult point of view

Underestimates the ability of children to think and act for themselves

Children have no right to shape their education and policies affecting them.
-Having a say= children less vulnerable to abuse


What is the conventional theoretical approach to children and childhood?
(Functionalists & New Right)

See children as a vulnerable group in need of protection from exposure to adult life.

Views children as growing up too quickly- being likely to engage in inappropriate behaviour.


(Theoretical approaches to childhood)

Believes parenting culture in Britain is failing children.

1. Children have too many rights that prevent parents from disciplining children (e.g. through smacking)

2. Peer groups and mass media influence children more than parents/ teachers.
Children loose innocence and become sexualised at younger age.