This book has already proved itself as a course adoption leader in Childhood Studies. All of the strengths of the First Edition have been retained. The book is comprehensive and judged with the needs of students in mind. It is a model of clarity and precision and has been acknowledged as such in reviews and course feedback. The new edition thoroughly revises old entries and adds new ones. The book is the most accessible, relevant student introduction to this expanding, interdisciplinary field. It is an indispensable teaching text and an ideal prompt for researchers.


The notion of competence is not inherently complicated and although some of its specific meanings are more nuanced (e.g. that of legal competence, which may be used to define legal status or authority) and it has acquired a particular currency in recent years in terms of the specification of the detailed components of a skill, the basic meaning is as defined above: that is, the ability to ‘do’ something. In this performative sense, it should be noted that competence does not even necessarily have to be defined in terms of the quality of a given performance. Indeed, the use of the ...

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