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The rationale for any concept of childhood lies, of course, in the idea that childhood is something distinctively different and separate from its Other, which most obviously is adulthood. Childhood and adulthood have long since formed a contrastive pair, similar to the notion of young, which is unthinkable apart from old. From the philosophers of Hellenic antiquity to modern psychology, education, and the social sciences, confidence in this distinction has held sway, and across centuries, various conceptions of childhood have been produced based on particular views about childhood’s difference from adulthood. These conceptions, especially the views on childhood created in modern developmental psychology, continue to influence educational thinking and pedagogical practice in both educational and other institutions involved in things such as social work, health ...

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