The Changes in Status of Childhood Essay

Submitted By mahimaali
Words: 579
Pages: 3

The status of childhood has always been changing as time has been passing even up to this day
Using material from item A and elsewhere assess sociological explanations of changes in status of childhood. The status of childhood has always been changing with time and to this day and age there are many views over the position of children; being confined, disciplined or controlled by the adult authority and socialisation. Others say that they are growing up to fast and the distinction between the adults and children is becoming blurred. Some sociologists believe that childhood is socially constructed, that childhood is dependent on society's cultures, beliefs and laws etc. An example for this theory is Wagg (1992) who believes a single 'universal' childhood; that is experienced by all, does not exist. He says that childhood isn't natural nor is it defined by mere biological immaturity. By this he means that although all children go through life stages and physical development like puberty it doesn't create their position in society and instead the society and its differential culture, religion and laws do. more.
There are two ways to look at the childhood; the 'march of progress view' against the 'conflict' view. The march of progress see's society coming out of the dark age for children and into a child-caring society and that the state of childhood is the best it has ever been by progressing slowly in western societies. Mause (1974) is one sociologist who believes in this, he says that 'the further back in history one goes, the lower the level of childcare, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorised and sexually abused'. This strongly agrees with the march of progress view of gradual childhood improvement towards recent societies where infant mortality has decreased, more government organisations for children and overall more cared for and valued. However the march of progress view is deeply argued by the 'conflict view' that perceives society based on a conflict between different social groups such as social classes or genders. They criticise the march of progress in two ways, that there are inequalities among children in terms of the opportunities and risks they come more.
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