Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood. Essay

998 WordsMar 17, 20144 Pages
“Assess sociological explanations of changes in the 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. The position of children also differs over time. The modern west4ern idea of childhood is a relatively recent invention. An example of this theory is Aries (1960), where he studied paintings from medieval times. From paintings Aries saw children were not seen ass having a different ‘nature’ from adults and they began working from an early age. Therefore children were ‘mini-adults’ with the same rights, duties and skills as adults. Benedict (1934) argues that there’s a cross-cultural differences in childhood; where position of children varies based on their geographical location. For example children in simpler, non-industrial societies are treated differently from their modern western counterparts, especially in Asian countries where children have more responsibility at home and work, and less value is placed on obedience to adult authority. During the industrialisation, children weren’t seen as children but young adults, therefore they were put to work at an early age, especially in factories to work on big machines where they’re suitable to get into machines if there was problem. Children who work in factories often had injury and accidents that result in high child death rates. This encourages indifference and neglect, especially towards infants. This results in the modern notion of childhood, which began to merge when they introduce the factory act (1860) protecting children in factories. Then schools began to become compulsory for 5-12 years olds. Church
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