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.

Cultural Relativism

Cultural relativism

The recognition that societies differ in their cultural attitudes to social phenomena and therefore no universal criteria can be applied to compare one cultural view with another. Cultures can therefore only be judged through reference to their own standards.

The fact that in every society children are born, grow through their infancy and childhood, and eventually develop into adults might suggest that this universal experience provides the basis for shared understandings and attitudes to children – a global form of childhood. This is, however, not the case and evidence from societies in different parts of the world reveals a wide range of attitudes towards children and expectations of what children can or cannot do (Montgomery, 2009). For example, while in western European countries ...

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