Universalization of Childhood

Childhood is often viewed as a social construct with its definitions and notions changing over time. Moreover, although childhood has multiple ways in which it is embodied and understood depending on cultural, historical, and geopolitical contexts, there are many aspects of childhood that have been universalized. The universalization of childhood refers to a standardized, dominant way of understanding the notion of childhood. This entry examines the historical development of universalizing discourses on childhood, how discourses on naturalness and rationality have been used to support these discourses, and how assumptions about the universalization of childhood inform policies, including early childhood education policies such as the developmentally appropriate practice (DAP).

The Historical Development of the Universalization of Childhood

Since Enlightenment and Modernist periods, from a Western perspective, childhood has ...

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