Flashcards in Childhood - Social Construct Deck (14)
How come childhood is a social construct?
Because what children do in society and the position they hold aren't fixed, they are different;
1. between societies.
2. within societies (e.g. between social classes).
3. historically, over time.
What are the 2 comparisons of childhood to show it's a social construct?
1). Childhood in the West.
2). Cross-cultural differences in childhood.
What does Benedict (1934) suggest about the cross-cultural differences in childhood?
Children in simpler, non-industrial societies are treated differently from the West in 3 ways:
1). More responsibility at home and work.
2). Less value placed on obedience to adults.
3). Children's sexual behaviour is often viewed differently.
What else does Benedict argue about the different ways children are treated cross-culturally?
Behaviour that's expected of children and adults is less clearly separated, not such a clear divide.
Who studied the responsibility of children of cross-cultures?
Punch (2001) =
- study in Bolivia.
- once the child is 5, they are expected to take work responsibilities.
What did Firth (1970) find about obedience in cross-cultures?
- in the Tikopia.
- doing as you're told isn't expected, it's a concession.
Who studied the Trobiand Islander's sexual behaviour?
Malinowski (1957) =
- adults were 'amused and tolerant' towards children's sexual exploration (scratching backs).
How does childhood differ in Western cultures?
1). Childhood is seen as special, innocent time of life.
2). Fundamentally different from adults - physically and psychologically immature.
3). Not competent to run their own lives.
4). They need to be protected through nurturing and socialisation.
How does Pilcher (1995) describe childhood?
Childhood is distinctly different from adulthood =
- children occupy a separate status from adults.
How does Pilcher's view oppose Benedict's?
- in cross-culture countries, childhood isn't seen as separate from adults, there isn't such a divide.
How does Cunningham (2007) describe childhood?
Seen as the opposite of adults, with the right to happiness.
What does the contrast of traditional and modern views of childhood show?
That childhood is a social construct =
- childhood isn't fixed in the same forms across all cultures/societies.
- childhood studies aren't culturally-bound.
How has the Western notion of childhood globalised?
The views of how modern childhood should be - separate, innocent, based on nuclear family and school, is being imposed on other countries.