Outlining sociology’s distinctive contribution to childhood studies and our understanding of contemporary children and childhood, The Sociology of Children provides a thought provoking and comprehensive account of the connections between the macro worlds of childhood and the micro worlds of children’s everyday lives. Examining children’s involvement in areas such as the labour market, family life, education, play and leisure, the book provides an effective balance between understanding childhood as a structural phenomenon, and recognising children as meaning makers actively involved in constructing, co-constructing and reconstructing their everyday lives. Through the concept of ‘generagency’ Madeleine Leonard offers a model for examining and illuminating how structure and agency are activated within interdependent relationships influenced by generational positioning. This framework provides a conceptual tool for thinking about the continuities, challenges and changes that impact on how childhood is lived and experienced.

Micro Childhoods: Prioritising Agency

Micro Childhoods: Prioritising Agency

Micro Childhoods: Prioritising Agency

Chapter Aims

  • To illustrate how children practise agency in their everyday lives.
  • To outline the significance of paid employment for children during their school years.
  • To demonstrate, with examples, how children practise agency in the family.
  • To explore how children interact with adults within educational settings.
  • To outline how children actively engage with consumer culture.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • Understand the significance of children’s agency in their everyday lives.
  • Be able to acknowledge how paid employment challenges notions of childhood as a dependent status.
  • Be able to draw on specific examples to illustrate how children practise agency in their families.
  • Understand how children actively negotiate relationships with adults in educational settings.
  • Be able to critically assess the myriad ways in which children actively ...
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