Construction Of Childhood

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I agree with the statement that ‘childhood is a social construct’ rather than a biological stage of development. A social construction is used to describe something that is created by society. It differs from place to place, culture to culture and time to time. Childhood is seen as a social construction as there is no ‘fixed’ experience of childhood, the perception of what a child is ought to be or even who a child is constructed through cultural and social practices. These cultural factors do influence and shape the childhoods of children. There is a huge variation in the defining characteristics of childhood, what children should and shouldn’t be doing at certain ages and about the age at which they should be regarded as adults. Therefore,…show more content…
Different psychologists explained these transitions phases using different schools o thought. For example: Sigmund Freud’s theory emphasizes the importance of sexuality and that as a driving force behind development of a child. This theory is a reductionist one as it is describing the complex human behaviour to a single motive. Freud was primarily concerned with personality development whereas Piaget (1896-1980) centred is theory on changes that occur in the child’s mode of thought, cognitive stages in development. He created set of stages to indicate an individual’s ability to think. Piaget saw development as adaptation to the environment one lives in. This engagement and interaction leads to new perceptions of the world and new organizations of knowledge and thought. Then we have Erik Erikson (1902-1994), he proposed the psychosexual theory. This states that the driving force behind development is the need to become integrated into the social and cultural environment. He proposed a sequence of eight stages of development. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, one important figure who spoke about the child’s environment, social interaction and culture as an important influence on the child’s cognition which was ignored by Piaget to a large extent as he was more centered on a child thinking capacities and patterns and not the influences for those thoughts. Urie Brofenbrenner’s point of view is similar to Vygotsky’s, he stressed in the interactions, the specificity, the conditions of the social and physical environments that foster a child’s
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