Childhood - The Future of Childhood Flashcards Preview

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Who are the 2 main sociologists that discuss the future of childhood?

1). Postman (1994) = 'childhood is disappearing at a dazling speed' (negative view).

2). Opie (1993) = separate children's culture (positive view).


Why does Postman argue childhood is disappearing?

Children are becoming more like adults =

- same rights.

- disappearance of children's traditional unsupervised games.

- similarity between adult and child clothing.

- even, children committing similar crimes, such as murder.


What is Postman's reason for the disappearance of childhood?

Television culture replacing print culture.


What is print culture?

- Children lacked literacy skills to access information.

- So adults could keep knowledge about adult matters (sex, death, illness, etc) a secret from them.


How did the print culture impact childhood?

- Inaccessibility created a mystery to children, so childhood became associated with ignorance and innocence.

- It created an informational hierarchy; clear distinction between childhood and adulthood.


What is television culture?

As TV doesn't require special skills to access it, children can access adult material;

- weakening the boundaries between children and adults.

- diminishing hierarchy and authority.


What type of view does Opie (1993) take towards the future of childhood?

Positive, regards childhood as having a continued separate culture.


What is an example of childhood remaining a separate culture?

- Unsupervised games.

- Rhymes and songs.


What does Postman and Opies' studies show about the future of childhood?

That it's a social construct.


Evaluate Postman's view?

He overemphasised a single cause - TV =

- ignoring other factors that have influenced the development of childhood, such as, rising living standards and legal changes (dividing children/adults).


Who discusses childhood in postmodernity?

Jenks (2005) =

unlike Postman, he believes childhood isn't disappearing, but changing.


How does Jenks agree with Aries?

They both believe childhood was a creation of modern society, and concerned with making children ready to work for the future.


How does Jenks say children achieve the expectations of society, in order to be equip for work for modern societies?

Children needed to be =

- nurtured, protected and controlled.

- education and 'child-centred' family must impose discipline and conformity.


What does Jenks say has happened to childhood in postmodernity?

- As adult relationships become more unstable (more divorce), parents seek stability from their children.

- This results in parents being more protective over their children, especially from child abuse.


What are the evaluations of Jenks?

1). He criticises Postman - childhood isn't disappearing.

2). Evidence supports the view that parents are concerned of the risks their children could face.

3). Over-representative = assumes all children are in the same position.