Assess Sociological Explanations of the Change in Status of Childhood’

757 Words4 Pages
March of progress sociologists say that childhood has changed dramatically because children have become more valued, protected and educated. Due to the introduction of various laws, children have become more protected, cared for and treated differently to adults. However the conflict view argues that childhood has not improved because massive inequalities still exist e.g. children suffer under the control and oppression of adults which can often take extreme forms of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In medieval times, childhood was very different to what it is today. In fact, it was barely recognised because children were treated like adults. Neil Postman argues that there was nothing to separate childhood from adulthood. For example, information was communicated through town speakers and gossip which took away the innocence and naivety of childhood. In addition, the high infant mortality rate meant that there was no emotional attachment between parents and their children. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century that information became censored, resulting in children being treated differently to adults. Aries, like Postman argues that childhood has improved since the Middle Ages. For example, children were expected to contribute within the household or workplace resulting in them having the same role as adults. Furthermore, the law treated children no differently to adults e.g. they faced the same punishments for committing a crime. The March of progress view argues that society has finally recognised that childhood is a distinct phase in one’s life where children should be treated separately in order to maintain their innocence. Children are more valued, cared for, protected and educated due to the introduction of various laws. The child labour act of 1938 restricts children from going into paid employment and protects them
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