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 18th-century writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau are often regarded as the emblematic source of ideas of children's innocence. In his treatise on children's education, described in the book Émile (1762), he sets out a view of the child as being, by nature, innocent. Naïve and as yet unworldly, the child was, in Rousseau's view, susceptible to the corruptions that emanate from the social world. For Rousseau, this made childhood a special period in the life-course that needed to be nurtured and protected. It was a view of the child's nature that represented a radically new understanding of ...

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