Historical context[ edit ] After writing and defending his dissertation On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to SocratesKierkegaard left Copenhagen in October to spend the winter in Berlin.
A Journey in Enlightenment There seems to be a great deal of contradiction and variation in society as to the specific rights of young people, such as; the age of consent for sex, ages of accountability, and the differing legal ages applied to the purchase of various goods.
Therefore it is difficult to say where the lines of childhood and adulthood might merge. It is now well established that children have the right to be heard, as many laws have been implemented in recent years to protect the rights of children.
There is not one specific transitional process that launches young people into adulthood; however it is the confusion about this important process that requires reflection and understanding from those who are at the centre of it. It would be expected that from this we would be getting greater understanding and clarity, however it seems to have further merged the boundaries and confused the categories.
The basic definition and category of childhood has not been established or even agreed, and the processes that shape children in preparation for adulthood are not defined. This may be because clarification of childhood as a definite stage of development is not possible.
Social Constructionism Burr identifies a key number of strategies that helps to explain the theory of childhood as being a social construction. Prout,asserts that the most adequate way of representing childhood is by viewing young people as social persons, he does this in order to understand their positions from within contemporary society.
One stage of life is childhood, and we see it as a natural stage of development. It is however not simply a biological stage of development, but an emergence of attitudes, beliefs and values that surround the individual child at particular points in time. As such it can be defined as a fluid social category, this is not fixed and it is subject to the changing values, definitions and expectations we have within society and most importantly the individual perceptions and internalisations young people make of these societal boundaries Valentine, The Social Construction of Childhood Aries argues that childhood is not a biologically determined stage but rather a socially imposed stage.
He defined childhood as a category that was applied as a concept in society during the 16th Century, prior to that they were seen as being small adults who were capable of, and indeed made to participate fully in adult life.
Childhood he claims began in the 16th and 17th centuries in the upper classes, the concept then gained strength until it permeated all levels of society however it was not until later on in the 19th and early 20th century that it was accepted by the lower classes.
Children began to be protected from the reality of the world and its events The setting of legal ages for consents, for sex, the sale of alcohol, the statutory attendance of schools and voting rights, thus making age the prominent marker and focus for maturity, Hewstone, Wolfgang and Stephenson, Berger and Luckmann state that the social construction of childhood expressed by a young person will be that daily realities will exist outside of them and operate independently of the young person, there by reflecting the view that they are not in control of their world, and merely just a player in the grander scheme of things.
How young people relate to each other and different members of society requires the ongoing negotiation of these social constructs. Social constructionism implies that the knowing is linked to doing and that the interaction between understanding and social action is symbiotic Burr How we talk and the language that is used is a basis for our thoughts, actions and how we think Burr Gergen and Gergen, ; Potter and Wetherell, With adults having such opposing views on childhood, there is little wonder at the conflict that surrounds young people during this transitional period.
Added into this there is then the societal perception of childhood and adulthood. In society young people are being judged on maturity by various age related categories, restrictions and issues; for example at sixteen you can have sex, get married with permissionhave a baby, be able to smoke, and yet you have to wait a further two years until you are allowed to drink or be allowed to vote.
To define the social construction of childhood we must first explore the many social areas that children are exposed to, which may influence and enrich their worlds.
Such areas as, home, school, clubs, friendships, hobbies, and groups all provide diverse influences on young people and help shape how they construct experiences into scripts that make sense to them. It could be that there are as Lloyd-Smith and Tarr point out, some powerful social and cultural constraints that act as the boundaries and guidelines of childhood, and they view childhood as specifically being a social construction.
A social construction that shapes us as unique individuals, through a process of socialization, which in turn allows us to feel part of the community. There are claims that only two processes that are central to identity formation, exploration and commitment.
This notion of female influenced care is also evident in other studies Phoenix, Discourses allow us to identify and to structure the young persons own, individual experiences, and each one will be an alternative construction of childhood, of the self and the other events in their lives through language, which is fundamental to the social constructionist view Burr, The narratives of young people have located them, and defined them in opposition to adults; this position sets a clear division in the narrative segregation of children from adults which reinforce the social and spatial compartmentalisations of childhood as being a separate category from adulthood Valentine These stages are, Oral-Sensory, which is birth to approximately months.
Muscular-Anal, from 18 months to 3 years, Latency from years, Adolescence from years, Young adulthood from years, Middle adulthood from years and, Maturity, which is from death. However by adopting this psychological theorising and stages of development it narrows the focus on the complex nature of relationships France, As such it is a pre requisite that we study childhood as a social construction rather than a biological category, "Childhood cannot be studied in isolation from society as a whole", Cunningham, Research Aims The research aims are to: A social history of family life.
Vol 17, No 9. Developmental Psychology, 34, The social construction of reality. Anchor Books, Doubleday and Company. An Introduction to Social Construction.Article PDF. Introduction. The early s marked the first publications both in English studies and communication studies to address lesbian and gay issues.
The series will also bring together visual, object-based and written texts of childhood in the form of exhibitions, research studies and museum artefacts to generate alternative discourses of childhood as a resource for educational practice and policy making.
The series has the following objectives: 1. This essay will look at 2 of those discourses, which directly compete with each other – the Romantic and Puritan, and suggest ways in which they impact children’s lives. The romantic discourse of childhood suggests children are naturally good.
Stoicism. Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c. B.C.E. It was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics, and it engaged in vigorous debates with the Skeptics, the Academics, and the Epicureans. Early years (–) Kierkegaard was born to an affluent family in schwenkreis.com mother, Ane Sørensdatter Lund Kierkegaard, had served as a maid in the household before marrying his father, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard.
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