Download Children's Childhoods: Observed And Experienced (World of by Berry Mayall PDF

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By Berry Mayall

This article explores the social prestige of kids, via attention in their positioning in various social settings and in sociological concept. It makes a speciality of young ones as social actors in developing the social order and collaborating in it.

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Women have a long way to go before achieving full equality with men, but our attitudes in respect of civil rights for women on the principle of equality have shifted dramatically over the past 100 years. If we are to enhance children’s status in society, it will be necessary to achieve a comparable change with that achieved for women. Achieving such a major shift in our fundamental attitudes towards children would necessitate changes in law, policy and practice in both the public and private sphere.

Nor is there any requirement in Britain to take account of the views of children within the family. In Finland, there is a requirement written into their equivalent of the Children Act that parents must consult with children in reaching any major decision affecting them, subject to the child’s age and understanding. Similar provisions exist in Germany, Sweden and Norway. In Scotland, the Scottish Law Commission in a recent consultation on proposals for family law found that there was widespread support for comparable provision here.

It is a method that ‘creates the space for an absent subject, and an absent experience that is to be filled with the presence and spoken experience of actual women speaking of and in the actualities of their everyday worlds’ (Smith, 1988, p. 107). It is thus essential to preserve ‘the presence of subjects as knowers and as actors’, and to ensure that subjects are not transformed into objects of study by the use of ‘conceptual devices’ for eliminating their active presence (ibid, p. 105). Children as the Researched It is easier to see how Smith’s recommendations can be made concrete in certain forms of social research than in others.

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