Assess Sociological Explanations Of The Changes In Essay

941 WordsFeb 5, 20124 Pages
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood The status of childhood has always been changing with time and in this day and age there are many views over the position of children, being confined, disciplined or controlled by the adult authority. Others say that they are growing up to fast and the distinction between the adults and children is overlapping. 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 Stephen Wagg’s (1992), who believes a single ‘universal’ childhood, which everyone goes through, does not exist. He says that childhood isn’t natural or defined by biology. By this he means that although all children go through life stages and physical development, it doesn’t create their position in society and instead the society and its differential culture, religion and laws decide this for them. Earlier centuries like the middle ages didn’t regard childhood at all and adults and children were almost equal with each other, work, clothing and playing. As item A describes ‘little distinction was drawn between adults and children’. This is a view taken up by the historian Philippe Aries where the child entered the wider society on most the same terms as adults and taking the responsibility of work from a young age. Evidence of this is from Bruegel’s 16th century painting which shows children and men wearing the same clothing and working/playing together. A large change can be seen by comparing this painting to the ‘child centred society’ as item A describes, Aries argues that we have progressed from a world that was not as child centres as today’s child obsessed society. However some sociologists like Linda Pollock (1983) have criticized Aries by saying that it is more correct to
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