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Sociology - Families And Households > Childhood > Flashcards

Flashcards in Childhood Deck (29)
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Define social construct and how does it apply to childhood?

Something that is defined by society doesn’t have a fixed definition as it depends time period, place and culture


Give 3 western differences between adults and children

Laws - consent, drinking, driving etc
Education - compulsory until 18
Censorship - watershed and TV PINS


How is childhood different in other cultures with 2 examples

Child soldiers in 21 countries
Lack of education for girls


What did Punch investigate?

Went to Bolivia and found that children as young as 5 have responsibilities at home and in the community


Give 2 facts on Bolivia

That 10 is the age of employment
And that they are trying to fuel their industrial revolution


What did Firth find out?

That in Tikopia, children can choose whether to do what an adult says


What does ethnocentric mean and how does it apply to childhood?

Ethnocentric - believing your country’s view is the only correct one
Which is what some western countries do when judging developing countries’ cultures


Briefly outline Aries’ study

He believes that childhood didn’t exist in the Middle Ages and that children were just treated as ‘miniature adults’. Then in the 20th century the ‘cult of the child’ was created by child rearing handbooks, changes in clothing and the church.


What evidence did Aries use and why did Pollock criticise it?

He used secondary sources like diaries, paintings and documents. Pollock says as the only art preserved from the Middle Ages is from wealthy people Aries’ evidence is not representative.


Who thought the printing press created childhood?



How did the printing press create childhood,

People were illiterate so people communicated through word of mouth and town speakers which children had no protection from. The 15th century printing press meant there was higher literacy rates in adults but not children so there was a divide in knowledge.


Give 3 causes for child centredness

Lower infant mortality rate
Laws like the Children Act 1989
Shorter working week


What is the belief that society is steadily improving called?

March of Progress View


What did Lloyd De Mause say about childhood?

That childhood used to be a “nightmare” as in the past children were much more likely to be killed, abandoned, beaten and sexually assaulted


Who criticised De Mause and described childhood as ‘toxic’?



What evidence is there that childhood is toxic?

Increased in self harm and suicide due to a decrease in family stability
Electronic babysitters such as TVs or phones as parents are too busy now


Who spoke of gender inequalities in children? + what did they say?

Hillman. They said that boys have more freedom and take more risks than girls who are encouraged to stay in the home


What did Bonke and Woodroffe say in childhood inequality?

They said that there are class inequalities.
Bonke said poor mothers are more likely to have low birth weights which lead to delayed physical and intellectual development.
Woodroffe said unskilled manual workers are 4 more times more likely to have a child with learning difficulties


What is child liberationism and who spoke of it?

Firestone and Holt have the belief that children are dominated and oppressed by adults as shown by 20000 calls to childline per year


Who described the age patriarchy?

Gittens believes adults keep children subordinate and economically dependent


What are the 4 ways adults have control over children?

Neglect and abuse

Children’s time - routines or limits on activities

Children’s space - can’t leave school, can’t travel alone, specific child areas

Children’s bodies - clothing, hair or piercings, not allowing masturbation or sucking your thumb

Resources - compulsory schooling means no wage, under 16s don’t earn the same so are dependent on parents


Give a statistic that supports Palmer’s toxic childhood

3.7 million children live in poverty


Who argues childhood is disappearing and for what reason?

Postman - said there used to be an information hierarchy where only adults could read so children were censored from pornography, crime or violence. However TV doesn’t involve a skill to access so now everyone is exposed to it so children are no more innocent than adults.


Give a strength and a weakness of Postman’s theory

- Tv can still be censored with parental locks
+ a study showed 11-16 year olds were very concerned by climate change and terrorism


How does Jenks disagree with the idea of childhood disappearing and what theory is he a part of?

Postmodernist - says childhood is changing not disappearing due to a lack of stability and fear of risk laws are put in place to protect and separate children from adults.


Give a strength and a weakness of Jenks’ study

- used a very small sample may not be representative of all children
+ Children’s Act 1989 and 2004


What are the 5 key words for the Children’s Act of 1989?

Responsibility (for parents)
Partnership (between parents and state)
Participation (take children’s wishes into account)


What is the aim of the ‘New sociology of childhood’?

To see children as playing an active role in their own childhood and conducting research directly with children.


Give 2 different studies showing children are not ‘passive objects’ for the New Sociology of Childhood

Smart - found children are actively involved in divorce and their viewpoints are seen as important

Mason and Tipper - children make their own family from Fictive Kin sometimes rather than blood relations