What is Childhood

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What is Childhood

  1. 1. WHAT IS CHILDHOOD?
  2. 2. Learning OutcomesTo explore different meanings ofchildhoodTo identify examples of howchildhood is socially constructed
  3. 3. Experiences of childhood &children
  4. 4. ChildhoodAll experiencedchildhoodBeen a childBeen cared forGrown up From Shreve (2011)
  5. 5. Experiences of ChildrenParentsWork with childrenRelated to childrenEncounter children From Cole (2008)
  6. 6. Consumer GoodsGoods aimed atchildrenChildren are aconsumer groupMedia targetschildren From Tenant-Moore 2011
  7. 7. Places and SpacesSpecific Places forchildrenPlaces excludechildrenPlaces wherechildren are gathered From Johnstone (2010)
  8. 8. What is Childhood?
  9. 9. Childhood?AgeBiologyBehaviourExperienceActivitiesResponsibilities
  10. 10. AgeConsent to sex at 16Compulsory education to 18 (almost)Vote at 18Watch X rated film at 18Doli incapax?Criminally responsible 10 but 12 in Scotland
  11. 11. Biology?Physical appearanceStaturePuberty
  12. 12. “The immaturity of children in abiological fact of life but the waysin which this immaturity isunderstood and mademeaningful is a fact of culture”(Prout, A and James, A 1997: p7)
  13. 13. Behaviour?ImmaturityChildish Behaviour• Naughty• Tantrums• Lash out• Don‟t listen• Imagination
  14. 14. Experience?Childhood = InnocenceOur children are „Angels‟Others‟ children are „Devils‟AsexualVulnerable – Needing Protection
  15. 15. Innocence vs EvilOur children - „Angels‟Others‟ children – „Devils‟• Valentine (1996)
  16. 16. Activities Childhood = Play Adulthood = Work
  17. 17. Responsibilities700,000 young carers (UniNottingham/ BBC)
  18. 18. Sociocultural ApproachesChildhood
  19. 19. “In the twentieth century...Westernchildhood has become a period in the lifecourse characterised by socialdependency, asexuality, and theobligation to be happy, with childrenhaving the right to protection and trainingbut not to social or personal autonomy”James, Jenks and Prout, 1998: p.62)
  20. 20. ChildhoodNot UniversalCulturalTemporalLocational
  21. 21. Ethnocentrism vsEthnorelativismEthnocentrism EthnorelativismOwn way of life is All cultures equally validuniversal & natural No judgmentJudgment basedon own life as Different cultures/ways ofcorrect life are not accountable
  22. 22. CulturalIndependence – self sufficient• Ik tribe of UgandaDependent• Western
  23. 23. TemporalPostman (1983) „Disappearance ofchildhood‟Childhood is heading for oblivionAriès (1962, 1996) childhood as weknow it is recent
  24. 24. LocationalSpatial boundariesPlaces for children
  25. 25. SummaryChildhood is socially constructedDefinition of childhood variesExperience of childhood varies
  26. 26. BibliographyAriès, P (1996) Centuries of Childhood, London: PimlicoJames, A; Jenks, C; Prout, A (1998) Theorising Childhood,Cambridge: PolityKehily, M. J. (ed.) (2009) An Introduction to Childhood Studies,Maidenhead: Open University PressPostman, N (1983) The Disappearance of Childhood, London:W H AllenProut, A and James, A (1997) „A New Paradigm for theSociology of Childhood? Provenance, Promise and Problems‟ inJames, A and Prout, A (Eds) Constructing and ReconstructingChildhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study ofChildhood, 2nd edn. London: FalmerPressValentine, G (1996) „Angels and devils: moral landscapes ofchildhood‟, Environment and Planning, Vol. 14, pp. 582-599Wyness, M (2006) Childhood and Society, Basingstoke:Palgrave Macmillan
  27. 27. Images Cole. W (2008) Stickman with baby buggy [Online] Available at http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-3532651/stock-vector-stick- man-with-baby-buggy [Accessed 15th September 2011] Johnstone, N (2010) Tories to axe 750 school projects, says Labour, [Online] http://www.publicpropertyuk.com/2010/04/22/750-schools-to- miss-out-under-tories-says-labour/ [Accessed 15th September 2011] Shreve (2011) Laura, [Online] Available at http://thrillingdaysofyesteryear.blogspot.com/2011/05/coming- distractions-august-2011-on-tcm.html [Accessed 15th September 2011] Tennant-Moore, H (2011) They Say: Autism is Linked to Watching TV [Online] http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/strollerderby/archive/2008/07/28/th ey-say-autism-is-linked-to-watching-tv.aspx [Accessed 15th September 2011]

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