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.


Traditionally, sociology addressed childhood as a largely undifferentiated social and generational space in society that could be subsumed within the social institution of the family. Thus, apart from particular phenomena such as delinquent behaviour, youth gangs, and aspects of schooling and educational practice, children have traditionally lived out their childhoods, sociologically speaking, in households and as part of family units that are headed by one or more adults.

This is a perspective on childhood that has been buttressed historically by the dicta of developmental psychology and one that, ironically, has more ...

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