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The Social Context of Childhood

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sonila
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The Social Context of Childhood

Describe and analyse how social factors impact upon children and young people and consider how your setting and practice responds to it.

The concept about the nature of childhood has changed in significant ways over time. According to James & Prout (1997) the beginning of the twentieth century has marked what they refer to as 'Century of Child'. This is the time when children were acknowledged as the future of every country. Serious attention was paid to things such as children’s health and education. Also many campaigns were formed to relieve child poverty, which led to the first major success of the Family Allowances Act (1946). This act offered a regular sum for second and subsequent children to be paid to the mother, raising the living standards of children and providing a better quality of life. However over the years particular attention has been paid to the environment that children live and the impact that it has upon their development and life chances. Bronfrebnner (1979) looks at the environment as a layered complex where each layer has an effect on child’s development and life chances. He believed that interaction between factors in the child’s maturing biology, his immediate family/community environment, and the social background fuels and directs his development. Bronfrebnner (1979) continues that modifications or conflict in any one layer of child’s environment will flow through other layers. Furthermore Paquette and Ryan (2001) state that family is the closest, strongest, most resilient and powerful layer of the mesosystem. The influences of the family spread to all parts of the child’s development such as language, nutrition, security, health, and beliefs. All these factors are developed through the involvement and behavior related within the family. These factors will contribute to children’s...

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