The Sociology of Early Childhood is a theoretically and historically grounded examination of young children’s experiences in contemporary society. Arguing that a sociology of early childhood must bring together and integrate different disciplines, this book: • synthesises different sociological perspectives on childhood as well as incorporating multi-disciplinary research findings on the lives of young children • explains key theoretical concepts in early childhood studies such as investment, early intervention, professional power and discourse • examines the importance of play, memory and place • evaluates long term parenting trends • uses illustrative examples and case studies, discussion questions and annotated further reading to engage and stimulate readers. Invigorating and thought provoking, this is an invaluable read for advanced undergraduates and postgraduate students looking for a more nuanced and progressive understanding of childhood.
Chapter 6: Civilising young children – long-term parenting trends
Civilising young children – long-term parenting trends
In the twenty-first century media commentary and discourses on contemporary childhood commonly invoke a notion of ‘crisis’ (Furedi, 2008; Hardyment, 2007; Palmer, 2006), fuelled by debates about changes in family structure and the growing attention to parenting from a broad range of professionals. Concern for these parenting issues is informed by very different sources: research centres like The Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, self-help books, newspaper articles, TV programmes, magazines, websites, podcasts, laws, policy documents, parent training programmes and websites for parents such as Netmums. Parenting in contemporary times, according to Furedi (2008), is imbued with feelings of fear and paranoia.
An obvious manifestation of paranoid parenting ...