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 with a number of the other key concepts in this book, the concept of ‘need’ is difficult to define with precision, partly because the idea and language of need are so commonplace. It is an integral part of everyday life: we ‘need’ a drink, something to eat, to take a break, to have a holiday, to talk, to be with someone, to have a pay rise or an increase in our welfare benefits and so on. We talk about what we need in such a variety of contexts that, quite apart from distinguishing between what we need and what we want, it is difficult to compare the nature of these ‘needs’ in any systematic way in order ...

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