Social Context of Childhood

3694 Words15 Pages
Describe and analyse how social factors impact upon children and young people and consider how your setting and practice can reduce the negative impacts on those factors The Social Context of Childhood This assignment will evaluate how children are socially constructed and how this has altered over the years. What social factors impact on children and how poverty and deriving from a large family can impact on children's childhood and life chances. It will also highlight how schools can reduce the negative impacts on those factors in various ways. The author's setting is a small primary school in a deprived area in the North East of England with an average amount of children receiving free school meals. There are many social factors that have a negative impact upon children for example, poor housing, poverty, lack of employment, living in deprived areas, health problems and large families. These experiences influence childhood and life chances. For the purpose of this essay the author has focused her research on poverty and family sizes. The social construction of childhood suggests that childhood is not natural, it is a result of society, labeling and identifying a phase of life and giving the meaning to behavior during that phase. It has also been suggested that children are biologically different to adults but the meaning of these biological differences are defined by society and at different times. Aries (1962) suggests the concept of childhood did not exist in Europe and children were seen as little adults as they dressed like adults and in many ways behaved like adults and childhood was discovered in the middle ages. Other ideas of childhood were highlighted with the introduction of formal education and the gradual withdrawal of children from the workplace. Although children are innocent and entitled to nurturing and protection in some cultures children
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