Helping Us Understand Childhood Essay

Helping Us Understand Childhood Essay

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I will explore the concept of childhood by both terms sociology and Social psychology which helps us understand attitudes and behaviors from the influences of social aspects on the individual. I would also critical analysis of childhood from a range of sociological and historical perspectives. I will look at developmental theories to interpret children’s experiences to in order to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of early childhood.

Kehily, (2004) suggests that a new-born is a physical and “biological reality”, born into a social, gendered and an adult world full of complexity and contradictory meanings. It is conceived that the state of being a child is transitory. Culture, history and adults define what childhood should be. Sociology studies the social life of the child as an uncomplicated part of study in institutional analyses of household and education. Sociologists and psychologists generally look at childhood as a period of life that shapes preparatory mechanisms into the child’s activities so that he is progressively prepared with the capability to participate in everyday life. Childhood is understood after the fact of effective social systems it is treated as a residual category and combined through educative theories of socialization, Jenks, (2002).
Aries, (1962) however, argued that childhood is socially and factually built, not biologically given fundamentally “natural”. He also suggested that there is behaviour differences towards childhood are observed differently in judgment to the societies in the past. The belief of childhood being a subject of culture construction and differs across time and space has been discovered by a number of sociologists and anthropologists. In the Middle Age, children were est...


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...James, A. and James, A. L. 2003. Constructing childhood. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kehily, M. J. 2004. An Introduction to Childhood Studies. 2nd ed. Open University Press.
Jenks, C. 2002. Childhood. London: Routledge.
Beckett, C. and Taylor, H. 2010. Human growth and development.. Los Angeles.
Brooks-Gunn, J. and Duncan, G. J. 1997. Journal Issue: Children and Poverty Volume 7 Number 2 Summer/Fall 1997. Journal Issue: Children and Poverty Volume, 7 (2).
Kirkpatrick, L. A. and Shaver, P. R. 1990. Attachment theory and religion: Childhood attachments, religious beliefs, and conversion. Journal for the scientific study of religion, pp. 315--334.
Mitchell, P., Ziegler, F. and Mitchell, P. 2013. Fundamentals of developmental psychology. New York: Psychology Press.
Slater, A. and Muir, D. 1999. Developmental Psychology. Blackwell publishing.

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