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Key Concept of Gender and Social Construct

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  • Level: High school
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Question :

Questions- This assessment will cover following questions:

  • Determine ways of learning and knowing about society and sociological imagination.
  • Generate an understanding of the disciplinary language, vocabulary and investigation techniques in Social Science study.
  • Use key concepts to real world phenomena and experiences.
  • Evaluate acquisition of a range of Academic skills.
Answer :

INTRODUCTION

Childhood and gender are basically the two interlinked aspects of the life stage of individuals that have an equal impact on each other. Childhood where on the one hand is the life span from birth to adolescence while gender is the underlying characteristics which differentiate masculinity as well as femininity. The main aim of this report is to understand the social construct of both childhood and gender and to study their patterns in the modern era.

This report gives a brief overview of the key concepts of childhood, the social constructs within childhood, the key concepts of gender and the social construct of gender.

MAIN BODY

Childhood

Childhood is basically the period of age which ranges from birth to adolescence. In short, it is predominately the ageing time for children when they go to school as well as at play for becoming stronger together with family. It is the age at which children children learn about the social world and its aspects like crime, hate, love, attachment to society etc. According to Jane Pilker, childhood is basically seen as the clear as well as distinct phase wherein children occupy a different status in comparison to adults (Elkins and et.al.,2018). This is generally concerned with numerous ways like laws which regulate what the children are not allowed and allowed, required and prohibited to do. There are various laws within Western societies about childhood like child laws, protection laws, mandatory education laws etc.

The social construction of childhood as well as age

Age is generally the significant aspect which plays an essential role in teaching children about the social world. It usually determines various aspects at what age children can marry, start a job, join leisure activities etc. It has a vital and important bearing on status as well as identity and tells the different forms of life. In most of cultures like Western culture, Hausa, Chisunga etc, it is usually puberty which marks beginning of the adulthood but childhood is generally marked by particular characteristics as well as thinking. It has been argued that Western views of the age are something that came with the development of the industrial society. Earlier, The family were generally considered as a single unit of production that time the age of an individual was not crucial (Prout, 2016). For example- children tend to lead unprivileged existence because they were required to join as well as help in various productive activities. It is usually argued that children are psychologically as well as physically immature in comparison to adults. The children are mostly dependent on adults for numerous biological as well as emotional needs. In comparison to adults, children are generally not competent for leading their own lives and thus cannot be later held responsible for various actions. The social construct of childhood mainly are different in different countries and also changes over time. During the Middle Ages, children does not have the varying needs or demands of adults. But, as the children entered the wider society, they tended to differ from adults and started working from a young age.

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Today sociality

Nowadays, children are generally considered mini-adults and basically are treated just like adults even while talking about the laws. The views of children and adults are inter-mingling have no distinctions and are generally not segregated. The social construction in childhood has transformed in modern British and thus there are usually high levels of separation and isolation between spheres of adulthood as well as childhood. There are basically various places where children as well as trusted adults are allowed to go and hence these children are generally sheltered from adult life. In this modern era, relative to the adults there has been the establishment of various laws across the country which restrict children from exposing to labour work (Ristori and Steensma, 2016). The parental attitudes in today's world also vary. The are various reasons which went into these changes from the traditional era to the modern era and the difference between the attitudes of children and adults like the education. Since the emergence of globalization, the government has made elementary education compulsory and the advent of this compulsory education has raised the age of the dependency of children on adults. Besides this, there have been contrasting views of children on various aspects from adults. Along with this, the decreasing family size as well as low infant rates of mortality addresses that now parents are more and more encouraged to make greater and stronger emotional investments into their children for their mental and physical growth. This has led to the different mentality levels of children.

Also Read:- Keeping Children Safe from Harm

Technology

The emergence of technology has eventually changed the mindset and point of view of children in various aspects. This advanced technology has transformed the lives of children to a great extent. Even at a very young age, children have now become addicted to different video games as well as applications which are rewiring their brains (Halim and et.al.,2017). This is posing a great threat to the minds of children and thus affecting their biochemical changes. Besides this, the excessive use of social media has made them vulnerable to various health diseases as well as misconceptions. The addicted games and different aggressive websites are ruining their entire childhood and this has brought a great change in their behaviour.

Gender

Gender is basically the characteristics which differentiate between masculinity as well as femininity. Gender plays an important role in childhood and thus affects the mental imagination of children. There is a huge difference in the learning abilities of male as well as female which forms their distinguishing feature. On one hand, males generally have performance orientation and thus are motivated by desire on the other hand, females tend to get motivated by mastery orientation and thus have different learning abilities. As males are more active physically in comparison to females thus their biochemical composition is totally different and are vulnerable to physical aggression (Steedman, Urwin and Walkerdine, 2016). It has been reported that males generally overestimate their abilities while females show high motivation as well as self-efficacy. The most important part of the body which plays an essential role in learning and thus makes a difference between male learning as well as female learning is the brain. According to the National Health Center, most of the area in the brain of females includes the cerebral cortex which is mainly responsible for memory, attention, language etc and thus they are more dedicated to verbal functions. In contrast to this, most of the parts of the cerebral cortex in males are generally dedicated to mechanical as well as spatial learning. Therefore, males generally learn better with movement as well as pictures. According to Jane Pilker, the sociology of gender is highly imperative and thus varies from country to country.

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The social construction of the gender

Gender is also like other social entities socially construed. Social constructionism basically is the key theory which sociologists use for putting gender into the historical as well as cultural focus. The gender norms are generally learned from the birth through the childhood socialization. It is usually expected that children learn what their parents and social institutions teach them like religious teachings, cultures, etc (Elkins and et.al.,2018).

In most of the western nations for example U.S., people generally think of masculinity as well as femininity in a dichotomous manner and hence views of men and females are different and distinct (Chetty and et.al.,2016). Various different cultures however step out of this assumption and keep their views on males and females as less different. For example- in the initial stages of life, there was a different category of the people within Navajo culture which was known by the name Berdaches that were regarded as anatomically male but still were defined as the third gender that falls between both males as well as females. Thus, the views on masculinity as well as femininity are highly contrasting in different countries. The most popular, as well as contemporary approach in sociology in gender, is generally influenced by the symbolic Interactionist theory. This theory emphasizes micro-level regular interactions which challenge the varying genders. This theory addresses that gender is basically produced by communication between the people and moulds the view of people in a great way. This theory mainly highlights instability as well as the fluidity of gender and identifies that because this is produced via the interaction of people, this theory is fundamentally changeable.

In the mid-twentieth century, it has been argued that men generally portrayed instrumental roles within society and women portrayed expressive roles for the benefit and sake of society. The gender division was being viewed as necessary and significant for operating modern society smoothly. For example- It was regarded as against the rule of society to send women to jobs and render them equal value just like males (Rae and et.al., 2019). This was the functionalist approach but over time, this approach became outdated and old and was replaced by the views of modern theorists. In this modern era, males and females are encouraged to make their own choices of leading lives. Where on one side, males are considered as the head of a family on the other side, females are now encouraged to step their foot out from home and explore the world in the way they want. However, there are still some cultures and religions where females are considered inferior and thus are kept out of the family business. The most known example of this is the Islamic religion. It is generally against the views of society to send females to jobs in Islam and thus they are still following the traditional approaches.

CONCLUSION

It has been summarized that childhood is basically shaped by a variety of determining factors like culture, age and thus this affects the mental and physical growth of children. In this modern era, children have become technology-oriented and thus their attitudes as well as beliefs have been changed in comparison to adulthood. On the other hand, the sociology of gender also varies from country to country and thus is generally produced via interaction between people.

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