Three Main Discourses Of Childhood

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Childhood is arguably the most significant portion of our lives because it is the basis of who we are, and who we will become, it is where we are most impressionable to authority and our environmental influence. The current social structure of childhood puts children in a place of delegation to adult authority in ways that are limiting to the child’s growth. Children should be seen as actors in their own lives, not merely to be acted upon, as this builds relationships of shared respect and collaboration, and encourages autonomy for society’s younger members. This is what the new paradigm envisions as a new and different way of thinking about childhood. It envisions a shift in our thinking because it is necessary to give children the ability to voice their own opinions and the opportunity to have a choice that may be different than an adult. Children are smarter than they are given credit for, they need to no longer be seen only as becomings but as their own beings. One key feature of the emergent paradigm is that “children are and must be seen as active in the constructions of their own social lives, the lives of those around them and of the societies in which they live. Children are not just passive subjects of social structure.” (Prout and James.) This is an important point…show more content…
The Romantic view was when childhood was regarded as a time of innocence, children were seen as “naturally good,” parents began to see children as fragile creatures who needed to be sheltered and protected from the adult world in order to maintain their purity. Romanticism allowed society to alter their way of regarding childhood, the element of gender was becoming increasingly irrelevant, instead the idea that children should be happy and childish was vital. Children were now seen as important and “the embodiment of hope” instead of just insignificant members of
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