Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood.

1233 Words5 Pages
Sociologists say that childhood socially constructed (which means that it is created and defined by society). They say that the position children have in society is not permanently fixed, it changes over time. This is obvious by looking at how childhood is seen in other cultures and the past. It is accepted in our society now that childhood should be a special time of life, children are seen as being different from adults so should be treated differently because they are physically and psychologically immature and are not able to be dependent. So they are seen to need a lengthy period of time where they are nurtured and socialised before they are seen as responsible adults in society. Jane Pilcher said “the most important feature of the modern idea of childhood is separateness. Childhood is seen as a clear and distinct life stage, and children in our society occupy a different status from adults”. Childhood isn’t a separate age status in all societies. This means it is not ‘universal’. Stephen Wagg said ‘childhood is socially constructed, it is in other words what members of particular societies at particular times and in particular places, and say it is. There is no single universal childhood isn’t “natural” and should be distinguished from mere biological immaturity’ this basically means that even though we all go through the same stages of development throughout our lives different cultures all have their own outlook on what childhood is. In the western cultures children are seen as vulnerable and unable to look after themselves, but other cultures do not see these differences between children and adults. Sociologists say that the best way to look at how childhood differs across different societies they take a comparative approach, which means they look at how differently children are seen in other cultures and in the past and compare them to the way we see
Open Document