Asses’ Sociological Explanations Of Changes In The Essay

1513 WordsDec 4, 20117 Pages
Asses’ sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood Childhood is a socially defined age status up to the age of 19 years old. It is a state which is both socially and biologically constructed and where a person has not reached adult status yet. There are major differences in how childhood is defined, both historically and between cultures. Western society’s today define children as vulnerable and segregate them from the adult world and therefore childhood is seen as a special and privileged time. In addition, in the past and in some countries today children such as Africa and India the children are apart of adult society which shows that childhood is social construction. However, some sociologist such as functionalists might oppose against childhood being socially and biologically constructed as there might be sociological explanations whether it’s historically or culturally constructed. Since the medieval times, the status of childhood has drastically changed as the introduction of laws stopped children being treated like adults. Sociologist Philippe Aries suggested that what we experience today as childhood is a recent social invention. He claimed that the idea of childhood ‘did not exist’ until the industrialization in the 19th century which changed the position of children. He stated that children were depicted as ‘little adults’ with the same rights, duties and skills like adults. He argued that children were regarded as an economic asset rather than as a symbol of people’s love for one another, which meant that investing emotionally in children meant that their death rates where high. Sociological explanations to support Aries view that childhood did not exist in the medieval times are that historians agree that the pre-industrial family was a unit of production which means that children used to work in agriculture by helping parents from
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