Author (Your Name)

Kori Heavner, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Sociology Dept.


Tappan, Mark B.

Second Advisor

David Nugent

Third Advisor

Rafael Scheck


In this thesis, my goal is to construct a vision of an ideal setting for children. By examining different ways of thinking about children and childhood, and by considering different approaches which have worked or do work practically, I will seek to envision something better for children. Trying to reach a better context for children will also include an inherent criticism of current conditions. Based on these criticisms, I will identify the elements that I believe can contribute to an ideal setting in which children can not only lead safe, healthy and happy lives, but also develop their own unique potential.

The discipline of the history of childhood as well as cross-cultural studies show the relativistic nature of childhood. The concept of childhood, expectations of children, and societal roles for children have changed drastically over time and differ across cultures today.

Children's advocates and the children's rights movement both reflect and promote changes in the context of childhood. As attitudes about childhood change, efforts arise to bring reality into line with the new ideals and images. Efforts toward improving children's rights also spread new ideas about children through the society.


Children -- Legal status, laws, etc, Children's rights, Children's rights -- History

Included in

Sociology Commons