JennyShergold
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I wrote this essay as a form of revision for my sociology unit 1 exam in January. Would be really helpful if someone could read over it, give me some feedback and a grade if possible.

‘Assess sociological explanations of the change in status of childhood’

March of progress sociologists say that childhood has changed dramatically because children have become more valued, protected and educated. Due to the introduction of various laws, children have become more protected, cared for and treated differently to adults. However the conflict view argues that childhood has not improved because massive inequalities still exist e.g. children suffer under the control and oppression of adults which can often take extreme forms of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

In medieval times, childhood was very different to what it is today. In fact, it was barely recognised because children were treated like adults. Neil Postman argues that there was nothing to separate childhood from adulthood. For example, information was communicated through town speakers and gossip which took away the innocence and naivety of childhood. In addition, the high infant mortality rate meant that there was no emotional attachment between parents and their children. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century that information became censored, resulting in children being treated differently to adults. Aries, like Postman argues that childhood has improved since the Middle Ages. For example, children were expected to contribute within the household or workplace resulting in them having the same role as adults. Furthermore, the law treated children no differently to adults e.g. they faced the same punishments for committing a crime.

The March of progress view argues that society has finally recognised that childhood is a distinct phase in one’s life where children should be treated separately in order to maintain their innocence. Children are more valued, cared for, protected and educated due to the introduction of various laws. The child labour act of 1938 restricts children from going into paid employment and protects them from the exploitation of working life. It also highlights the freedom and enjoyment that childhood brings. The child protection act of 1889 has safeguarded the welfare of children from neglect and abuse but ultimately their innocence. In 1870 it became compulsory for all children to receive an education. This provides children with equal opportunities and gives them more chance of gaining a prosperous and stable future. The introduction of these laws has ultimately encouraged people to become more child-centred.

However the conflict sociologists argue that the march of progress view has failed to recognise the massive inequalities that still exist in childhood. They say that many children today remain unprotected and badly cared for. For example 1/4 young adults were severely maltreated during childhood. There are also various factors such as social class and gender that affect the treatment and experiences of children. For example, poor mothers are more likely to produce underweight and unhealthy babies. Also, genders are assigned different roles providing them with different, often unequal opportunities e.g. females are more likely to perform domestic labour than males.

Child liberationists such as Firestone and Holt argue that children are oppressed by adults who turn their control and dominance into a weapon. For example, in 2006 31, 400 children were on child protection registers because they were said to be at risk of significant harm. These figures emphasise the dark side of family life of which children are victims. Adults have full control over the freedom of children, particularly parents e.g. children can no longer work therefore they have become economically dependent on their parents. So a child’s resources are limited to what their parents can offer them and those in poor families suffer under this. Postman argues that childhood is becoming effaced with adulthood e.g. young girls can be seen wearing short skirts and heels, which you would normally expect an older woman to be seen in. Furthermore, there has been an increasing amount of children committing adult crimes such as murder. This could be a result of TV and games which is exposing children to violence and influencing their actions.

It is clear that childhood has improved since the middle ages. Society has recognised that children need to be treated differently to adults and the introductions of various laws are evidence of this. However it is parents who have full control over children and how they choose to use it will affect their individual experiences e.g. some parents may not care about their child’s welfare and leave them out on the street. But as society has become more child-centred such as the existence of various charities like the NSPCC the lives of children can be transformed and they can be prevented from such dangers.
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smir95
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(Original post by JennyShergold)
I wrote this essay as a form of revision for my sociology unit 1 exam in January. Would be really helpful if someone could read over it, give me some feedback and a grade if possible.

‘Assess sociological explanations of the change in status of childhood’

March of progress sociologists say that childhood has changed dramatically because children have become more valued, protected and educated. Due to the introduction of various laws, children have become more protected, cared for and treated differently to adults. However the conflict view argues that childhood has not improved because massive inequalities still exist e.g. children suffer under the control and oppression of adults which can often take extreme forms of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

In medieval times, childhood was very different to what it is today. In fact, it was barely recognised because children were treated like adults. Neil Postman argues that there was nothing to separate childhood from adulthood. For example, information was communicated through town speakers and gossip which took away the innocence and naivety of childhood. In addition, the high infant mortality rate meant that there was no emotional attachment between parents and their children. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century that information became censored, resulting in children being treated differently to adults. Aries, like Postman argues that childhood has improved since the Middle Ages. For example, children were expected to contribute within the household or workplace resulting in them having the same role as adults. Furthermore, the law treated children no differently to adults e.g. they faced the same punishments for committing a crime.

The March of progress view argues that society has finally recognised that childhood is a distinct phase in one’s life where children should be treated separately in order to maintain their innocence. Children are more valued, cared for, protected and educated due to the introduction of various laws. The child labour act of 1938 restricts children from going into paid employment and protects them from the exploitation of working life. It also highlights the freedom and enjoyment that childhood brings. The child protection act of 1889 has safeguarded the welfare of children from neglect and abuse but ultimately their innocence. In 1870 it became compulsory for all children to receive an education. This provides children with equal opportunities and gives them more chance of gaining a prosperous and stable future. The introduction of these laws has ultimately encouraged people to become more child-centred.

However the conflict sociologists argue that the march of progress view has failed to recognise the massive inequalities that still exist in childhood. They say that many children today remain unprotected and badly cared for. For example 1/4 young adults were severely maltreated during childhood. There are also various factors such as social class and gender that affect the treatment and experiences of children. For example, poor mothers are more likely to produce underweight and unhealthy babies. Also, genders are assigned different roles providing them with different, often unequal opportunities e.g. females are more likely to perform domestic labour than males.

Child liberationists such as Firestone and Holt argue that children are oppressed by adults who turn their control and dominance into a weapon. For example, in 2006 31, 400 children were on child protection registers because they were said to be at risk of significant harm. These figures emphasise the dark side of family life of which children are victims. Adults have full control over the freedom of children, particularly parents e.g. children can no longer work therefore they have become economically dependent on their parents. So a child’s resources are limited to what their parents can offer them and those in poor families suffer under this. Postman argues that childhood is becoming effaced with adulthood e.g. young girls can be seen wearing short skirts and heels, which you would normally expect an older woman to be seen in. Furthermore, there has been an increasing amount of children committing adult crimes such as murder. This could be a result of TV and games which is exposing children to violence and influencing their actions.

It is clear that childhood has improved since the middle ages. Society has recognised that children need to be treated differently to adults and the introductions of various laws are evidence of this. However it is parents who have full control over children and how they choose to use it will affect their individual experiences e.g. some parents may not care about their child’s welfare and leave them out on the street. But as society has become more child-centred such as the existence of various charities like the NSPCC the lives of children can be transformed and they can be prevented from such dangers.
Are you doing the AQA paper? If so the 'assess' question tends to say 'refer to the item' so make sure you refer to the item atleast 3 times('...as suggested in item 2A' etc) Other than that it is a good essay you have included example and theorists,good introduction and conclusion. Another theorist you could use is Phillipe Aries who studied french paintings of children and concluded that they were 'mini adults' because there was no difference in their dresswear than adults and they did jobs that adults used to do.Hope that helped!
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l_wood
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(Original post by smir95)
Are you doing the AQA paper? If so the 'assess' question tends to say 'refer to the item' so make sure you refer to the item atleast 3 times('...as suggested in item 2A' etc) Other than that it is a good essay you have included example and theorists,good introduction and conclusion. Another theorist you could use is Phillipe Aries who studied french paintings of children and concluded that they were 'mini adults' because there was no difference in their dresswear than adults and they did jobs that adults used to do.Hope that helped!
I would definitely agree with this, and you could also mention 'Toxic Childhood', which would be a good way of showing how modern influences have changed the way childhood effects children (you have eluded to this slightly when you mentioned video games and violence, but the use of terms like Toxic Childhood would show your understanding of sociological language .
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Tasha26
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Thank u 👈
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