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.
As we argue in our discussion of the family, for many years western sociologists have located children, both as individuals and as a social category, under the umbrella of ‘the family’, rather than studying them in their own right and recognising their agency, and capacity for taking responsibility and autonomous decision-making. In many respects, this failure to problematise (i.e. to reflect critically upon) the concept of the child and the notion of childhood was a reflection of the dominant traditional social discourses and practices. This very ‘invisibility’ of children provided one of the main starting points for the emergence of childhood studies.
With the growth of alternative ...