Using Material for Item a and Elsewhere; Assess Sociological Explanations of Changes in the Status of Childhood.

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Using material for Item A and elsewhere; assess sociological explanations of changes in the status of childhood.

Many sociologists believe that childhood is a ‘Social Construct’, this means that certain childhoods are defined and created by society; dependent upon place, time and past. There are many reasons why the position of children in society has changed over the years such as; Laws, Child Protection, Child’s Rights and improvement of the understanding of Children’s health.

Social Construction is different in different places of the world.

The Modern Western notion of childhood.

Childhood is seen as a special time of life, where adults believe that children are fundamentally different to adults; mentally, physically and psychologically immature and they consider them unable to run their own lives because of this. Because childhood is a ‘special’ time of their lives, the children are usually protected from a very young age up until they are seen as ‘ready’ for the adult world. The nurturing, protection and socialisation beforehand all help contribute to their ‘adult life’. Childhood is seen as the ‘golden age’ that typically consists of happiness and innocence. Since innocence is so heavily associated with childhood, this leads to children being seen as vulnerable and in need of constant protection and kept separate from adult life.

Pilcher (1995) believes that separateness is the most important feature to the modern idea of childhood. The modern idea of childhood is that it is a clear and distinct life stage. It is easier to define childhood to adulthood because of the many laws regulating what children are allowed, required or forbidden to do. It is not only the law that defines and differentiates childhood it also the physical appearance such as; the difference of dress, products and service available: Toys, Books and certain play areas specifically designed for children’s safety.

Although this view of separate age-status is not universal, this...