Friday, September 13, 2013

Child Labor Article

In the article, Child Labor and the Social Construction of Childhood, the author, Gwen Sharp argues that the idea of a typical childhood is viewed much differently today than it was before World War II.
The expectations for children today are much different, however, some still believe that there is room for work during the childhood years.  Today there are many laws that protect children from working under a certain age.  However, in the early 1900s, childhood was viewed much differently.  Children often worked long hours in unsafe conditions to help their families.  This often resulted in the children missing school.  In this day, this would be considered outrageous; however, there are certain jobs that our society considers to be “acceptable” for a child.  While the regulations have changed, the debate on the amount of child labor deemed appropriate will continue. 

It's really amazing to look back at how I grew up and how these children grew up.  There really is no comparison.  I never had to worry about the economic well being of my family.  When I was the age of these children, I was playing outside with my friends with not a worry in the world.  I did not get my first job until I was 16 years old and when I did, I only worked a few hours a week.  My job growing up was to do well in school.  I can’t imagine not being able to “choose” what I wanted to do.  My parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams and they worked hard so that I was able to do that. 

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