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.


Like many of the concepts explored in this book, that of the family is at once both obvious (we all have one and we see them all around us) and elusive, since all families are different. Family members will not usually live together throughout the family life-cycle, however, so that the sharing of the same household space is not necessarily helpful in thinking about what the family ‘is’. This is despite the fact that, for many people, the strongest memories of family life are connected with the time they spent as children, usually living in the same household as their parents. However, growing up and ...

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