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Flashcards in Childhood - History Deck (10)
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How else is childhood a social construct?

It differs over time as well as societies.

- modern Western idea of childhood is a relatively new 'invention'.


How does Aries (1960) describe the history of childhood?

In medieval Europe, the idea of childhood didn't exist;

- children weren't seen as having a different 'nature' from adults.

- work began at a young age.

- children were seen as 'mini adults' - having the same responsibilities, rights and duties.


What is an example of children being the same as adults in medieval Europe?

Law =

- children often faced the same severe punishments as adults.


What did Shorter (1975) say about the history of childhood?

High death rates encouraged indifference and neglect, especially towards infancy.


How does Aries describe the modern notion of childhood?

Began to emerge from the 13th Century =

- schools began to specialise only in the education of the young.

- the church seen children as fragile 'creatures of God' needing discipline and protection from evils.

- a growing distinction between children's and adult's clothing, setting children apart from adults.


According to Aries, what was the result of this notion of modern childhood?

a modern 'cult of childhood' =

- moved from a world that didn't see childhood as special, to the obsession of childhood.


How does Aries describe the 20th Century?

'the century of the child'.


What are the 7 reasons for the changes in the position of childhood?

1). Lower IMR and smaller families =

parents made a greater financial and emotional investment in the childhood they have.

2). Knowledge surrounding child's health =

theories stressed that children need protection.

3). Laws banning child labour =

1840s onwards, created a dependency on parents and separated children from adult work.

4). Compulsory schooling =

children dependent on family.

5). Child protection and welfare laws =

emphasised children's vulnerability and made their welfare a central concern.

6). Idea of children's rights =

e.g. Children Act (1989) sees parents having 'responsibilities' towards their children rather than 'rights'.

7). Laws about social behaviour =

minimum age for various things, such as sex and smoking.


What are the 4 major social/policy changes in the 20th Century to protect children?

1). 1880 = Compulsory schooling.

2). 1889 = Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act.

3). 1989 = Children's Act.

4). 1989 = UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child.


What was the underlying cause of the changes in the position of children?

Industrialisation =

- modern industry requires an educated workforce, so compulsory education is needed.

- higher standards resulted in low IMR.