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Childhood studies is a multidisciplinary academic field focused on childhood and the everyday lives of children. It emerged in the late 1980s in response to a series of critiques about the way that prior research had either ignored children or treated them solely as objects of adult socialisation and biological development. Also known as ‘child studies’, ‘children studies’, or the ‘social studies of childhood’, it is a thriving and dynamic area of scholarship across Europe, the Americas, the Antipodes, and some parts of Asia and Africa.

There are degree programmes, dedicated research centres, research networks, and specialist academic journals devoted to the sociocultural study of childhood. This entry provides a brief history of the field and outlines some of the core theoretical assumptions of what has ...

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