Childhood is more than a period of scientifically observable growth and maturation or of legally defined immaturity; from some perspectives, it is understood in terms of what people ought to be like as future adults, and from others, as a time to be valued in and for itself, involving distinctive freedoms, forms of expression, and ways of being. The social and cultural elaboration of childhood and the institutional forces shaping it vary widely from society to society and between communities and groups, and through the lifespan, from early childhood through adolescence. Childhood today is subject to continuing rationalization, as states apply national and international norms to the definition of childhood, recognize children as beings with rights and agency, and seek to protect children from harm and vulnerability to exploitation.
|Title of host publication||The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|