Children and young people p373
In relation to young people, vulnerability has long been associated with childhood
(see Rousseau, 1762; Hendrick, 1997). The concept is implicit in biological and physical developmentalism, an approach which assumes that because children are not fully mature they are rendered vulnerable to adverse influences that may disrupt the ‘normal’ completion of the ‘developmental process’ (see Bynner, 2001; Malin et al., 2002). completion of the ‘developmental process’ (see Bynner, 2001; Malin et al., 2002). The emergence of the sociology of childhood (James and Prout, 1997, Mayall, 2002; Moran- Ellis, 2010) has called into question understandings of children as innately vulnerable, emphasising that representations of childhood and childrens’ vulnerability vary over time (see Pearson, 1983; Hendrick, 1997), and may be socially constructed (see Daniel, 2010; O’Connell Davidson, 2011). In policy arenas, representations of children as passive and vulnerable compete and overlap with notions of children as agents in, as well as products of, the social process (James and Prout, 1997; Piper, 2008; Nygard, 2009). This has particular implications for young people, who tend to be constructed in policy either as ‘vulnerable victims’, or as ‘dangerous wrong-doers’ with full responsibilities in situations where they transgress (Goldson, 2000, 2002; Fionda, 2005; Such andWalker, 2005).