Childhood Construction: What Is Childhood And How Do We Know What It Is? (Speech Presentation Sample)
DEVELOP a poster that will help widen an understand of a 10 minutes SPEECH PRESENTATION. the speech should ANSWER the following questions.
1)what is ‘childhood' and how do we know what it is?
2) what are the continuities and discontinuities in the meaning of childhood over time?
3) what are the key themes of the module?
4) what are three theories of childhood and how can they be critiqued?
Childhood is not a universal phenomenon experienced by every child regardless of his/geographical location, parenting and biological aspects. (Pilcher and Wagg, 2005 pp 16) stated that there is no single universal childhood, experienced by all so childhood isn't 'natural' and should be distinguished from mere biological immaturity. His statement may therefore be expanded to explain why a society has their own distinct understanding of childhood. United Kingdom for example have their own definition and understanding of childhood while Germany has its own structured childhood perspectives. The term socially constructed means that the childhood aspect is developed and logically managed by the immediate society of interest hence our case on United Kingdom.
what is ‘childhood’ and how do we know what it is?
As explained at the beginning of the presentation, childhood is not only a biological stage of human growth. The idea regarding fixed age, emotions or characters as a sign of childhood in various societies is false perception (Pilcher and Wagg, 2005 pp 14). Thus is because childhood is a kind of science idea where society determines what is childhood and what fits the childhood experiences. Let’s take an example of some third world countries where children at the age of 12 years work as casual laborers in plantations and factories. Childhood in such a society may be deemed different from childhood ideas in United Kingdom where child labor is serious offense.
what are the continuities and discontinuities?
Lloyd Demause states that the further you go back in history, the higher your chances of understanding that childhood was a nightmare experience. During the older days, children lack substantial parental, guardian and general society care. There was high likelihood that children were killed, battered, beaten and sexually abused (DeMause, 1974 pp 503). In one circumstance for example, a child who cried too much was considered too demanding. Moreover, children could be tied using strings so as to prevent them from crawling on the floor like animals (Shorter, 1975 pp 30). The most concrete part of child misuse was the ancient aspect of sacrificing toddlers. Infanticide was so common in Rome in that the practice was blamed for the small population of the kingdom. From the past century however, our understanding of childhood as changed thanks to the work of researches and historians who unearthed the importance of parent-child relation in shaping a better society. Psychologist, sociologist and anthropologist have found their paths to understanding what need to be changed and what need to be maintained in childhood (DeMause, 1974 pp 2). There have been various changes regarding childhood handling in the world (Hutchby and Moran-Ellis, 2013 pp 13). The use of ghosts as channel for frightening children was frequently used until the recent decades when the norm was abandoned to negative side effects on a child psychology (Scheper-Hughes and Sargent, 1998 pp 11). The picture below is an evidence of scary mask used in ancient rome to frighten children. The current world has changed siginifcantly with some aspects such as toilet training being evidenced from the 19th century onwards.
Theories of childhood and how can they be critiqued
Freud's psychosexual stage theory- according to Freud, the human personality is intertwined between three parts that is the id, ego and superego. The id, is the largest part of the mind and its main related to impulses and general biological needs of child ((Jackson and Scott, 1999 pp 92). The ego part is attributed to behavioral monitoring. The part identifies a kid desires without necessarily hurting him/her. A kid should be restricted by social norms and teachings. The superego part therefore regulates the id part through understanding what is good and bad after interacting with the society (Cooper and Olson, 1996 pp 78). The theorist concluded that continued struggle and conflict between the three aspects of a child growth influences his/her personality as explained by the image. Freud’s theory however analyzed the facts based on adult’s responses. The theorist never interacted with children before making the conclusions.
Piaget theory on cognitive development- the theory seeks to establish how the childhood of a person helps in developing an understanding of the world. Just like previous historical understanding of childhood nature, Piaget concludes that a person’s intelligence is not an inborn aspect. An individual’s environment and general interaction with the world have direct relations to a person’s intelligence in the later life (Piaget, 1973 pp 12). The theory however is focused on classroom aspect only. Some activities inhuman life does not generally depend on paper works given out as question and answer in classroom. A child may pose gaming and art talent but may fail to impress in class.
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development- Erikson developed an eight stage theory where a child is modified progressively into a successful and contributive member of the society. Each of the stages has a conflict and resolution that help a child overcome problems at hand (James, Jenks and Prout, 1998 pp 12). The stages are;
* Trust vs. Mistrust
* Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt
* Initiative vs. Guilt
* Industry vs. Inferiority
* Identity vs. Role Confusion
* Intimacy vs. Isolation
* Generativity vs. Stagnation
* Integrity vs. Despair
The theory is however based on mere imagination regarding a child growth (Lewin, 1939 pp 872). The stages do not necessarily apply to every child growth worldwide.
Key themes of the...