Childhood socialcontruction

Childhood socialcontruction

“childhood is a social

Social construction?
 Means that the important characteristics of something,

such as childhood, health and other forms of deviance
are created and influenced by the attitudes, actions and
interpretations of members of society.
NOTE. Societies are individual in the way they have
different social constructions, childhood is a important
feature in some societies but doesn't really exist in

“Childhood” in contemporary
western society
In contemporary Britain and in most western societies people
take it for granted that children are different from adults.
Children are viewed as innocent and vulnerable who need
protecting from the dangers of the adult world. We view
childhood as a completely different period of time away from the
adult life. As a result adults have to a extent constructed a
“separate world” for children in the way...
• Children are protected from adult dangers by laws (e.g.
• They have cheaper travel and special foods, clothes, toys
• Special areas designed only for children (e.g. Indoor play areas)
• Special arrangements made for them by the state like schools
and child benefits.
We design theses features to protect children in their best interest
as a result of children’s “natural biological immaturity”, adults
construct childhood

 Sociologists argue that the identity and status of

children, and childhood as a separate phase of life have
been created by society and social attitudes and are not
set by “biological immaturity”

 They argue that childhood is a “social


“Construction” rather than
• There is evidence supporting the idea that childhood is

a social construction opposed to a natural product of
biological immaturity (society creates childhood, rather
then it being a biological product and hence non
1. View of nature of children and childhood has changed

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