Social Construction Of Child And Childhood

1406 words - 6 pages

Social construction of child and childhood
To start with an overview of social constructionism in very general terms leads to build understandings of child and childhood in a social world more explicitly. Notion of social construction is defined in diverse disciplines and instead of generating a description there are a number of thoughts. “It is sometimes called a movement, at other times a position, a theory, a theoretical orientation, an approach; psychologists remain unsure of its status (Stam 2001, p. 294)”. Vivien (1995, p. 10) points the origin of social constructionism stems from two to three hundred years ago in the period of enlightenment, modernism and postmodernism. By all means, Berger and Luckmann’ (1966) book The Social Construction of Reality as a first book have a title of “social construction” has influential contributes in recent studies (Hacking, 1999). In this book, questioning everyday life realities and giving examples from it, shows the importance of social relations and language that we used. Hacking’ The Social Construction of What? (1999) offers up-to-date and logical instances which supports to comprehend those aspects. He listed a number of things to be socially constructed and X as a generic label is used by him to work things as they are. First X does not exist or it is not generated by any natural thing then X existed by history, social interactions and with similar things. He discussed all too often after this process, using theory of social construction results in to change or destroy X render ‘normalisation’. Gender is one of the good examples that he gave which always come to mind whether it is constructed or not. Put it in a simple way, when X is gender; inequalities between men and women caused feminist movement and they create a word “gender” which many women suffered from discrimination it is needed to change, reformulate. Having said that though, it does not require generalisation gender in this context, this example is used for have a clue in this basic sequence. Together with some limitations which will be discussed in following parts, social constructionism should be considered to understand relations in social world. It is safe to assume that social constructionism is the one of the core idea for define child, the substantial part of this social world.
It is generally reported that the definition of child categorizes a group of people according to age as in Convention Article 1 declared: For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child majority is attained earlier. However, UNICEF answered question of age range by saying there are some circumstances which can change benchmark ages namely the age for admission into employment, obligatory education. In other words according to countries age range is changeable and it can be varying. The question of those variations evokes the socially constructed of child...

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