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"opening your grandmas legs is like opening a grilled cheese sandwitch" - Graeffsgirl

U212, Tma 03 Option 1

  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2012 11:02 AM
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TMA 03                                                                                              
Option 2


What factors have contributed to the prolonging of childhood in Britain.

Introduction

In the effective discussion of the various contributing factors involved in the prolonging of childhood we must explore childhood as a changing concept relative to its cultural and historical context.   The discussion will also explore how the introduction of compulsory schooling and subsequent raising of school leaving age, changes in legislation and its effect on the labour market and changes in the family dynamic among other factors prolonged childhood in Britain.   73


Changing Childhoods


Martin Woodhead aptly says in Audio 3 Band 3, “childhood is about learning, not earning”. This statement would probably ring true to the majority of people in Britain today.   In contrast, this statement would be inconceivable to the average working class family during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Children were expected to “begin work as soon as they could make a useful contribution to the families welfare”   (Cunningham, 2003, p84) What contribution was made depended on local economy and personal circumstances. Pre industrialisation this would have included scaring birds from the fields, housework, caring for younger siblings, collection of firewood etc. Opportunities were very limited for under eighteens, especially in rural areas, as most of the work in agriculture involved the strength and endurance that comes with maturity. Older children's options were mostly being in service for girls or apprenticeships for boys.   120
 
  Opportunity for younger children to seek employment arrived in rural areas in the form of “lace making, straw plaiting and spinning”(Cunningham, 2003, p84) early in   the...

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