Adults’ Perspectives on Tweens’ Capacities: Participation or Protection?

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Children Australia, ISSN: 1035-0772, Vol: 39, Issue: 01, Page: 9-16

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Sargeant, Jonathon
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Social Sciences; Psychology; Sociology
article description
Childhood, its stages, purpose and duration are matters of ongoing debate in many contemporary societies. Much of the debate centres on the interpretations of childhood as a time of being, becoming or a combination of both, with the varying perspectives compounded by the rapidly evolving information age of the 21st century that offer children access to more unregulated information from multiple sources than at any time in history. As such, the adult community is confronted by a conundrum: prepare children for their future or preserve childhood as a time romanticised and defined by freedom and carefree living. In order to advance a policy and research agenda, whereby adults and children can share their expertise, a clear understanding of the contemporary societal view of childhood is necessary. This paper presents the views of a range of adults regarding children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, the tween years.