Assessment of the Argument that Britain has Evolved Into a Successful Child-centred Society

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Assessment of the Argument that Britain has Evolved Into a Successful Child-centred Society In today's society predominate 'everyday' attitudes are that before sixteen to seventeen years old children are not seen as self-reliant or responsible for themselves. This is shown in society through legislations such as ones that stop children under sixteen years old partaking in sexual activity and under eighteen years old unable to cast their vote and therefore opinion on society. In today's western society adults and children are perceived differently which is again shown through legislations that government have created in the evolution of today's child-centred society as previously children did not have any distinctive rights. The creation of a child-centred society is a relatively modern invention as it only came about over the past two or three centuries. According to Aries industrialisation was responsible for the changing the role and position of children within the family. In traditional and pre-industrial cultures the young moved directly from a lengthy infancy into working roles within the community. In western society up to the twentieth century children were put to work at what now seems the very young age of seven or eight years old this differs considerably from today's society where it is thought that children under ten years of age do not know the difference between right and wrong. However even though this is totally unacceptable in modern western society still in many countries young children are in full-time work which can often be very physically demanding. Attitudes towards children changed with the middle classes developing more parental and marital love this coincided with the decline in the infant mortality rate and improved living conditions. However this attitude did not exist among the working classes until later as until child labour legislation children were still an economic asset to their parents and it was not until around 1850 when the social attitudes towards children held by the middle classes started to spread to the working classes. Aries has argued that during the twentieth century society has become child-centred as children have

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