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.

Conclusions: Blurred Boundaries

Conclusions: Blurred Boundaries

The core aim of this book has been to highlight the significant contribution that sociology has made to the increasingly diverse field of childhood studies. As a ‘magpie subject’ (Blakemore, 2003: 3), childhood studies adopt concepts and approaches from a range of diverse disciplines, so much so that the ensuing hotchpotch of ideas creates confusion around different ways of knowing and the ontological basis on which they rest. Sociology has made a highly significant contribution to childhood studies; indeed it could be argued that many core themes in childhood studies reflect a parasite adoption of core sociological concepts. One of the enduring, central themes underpinning contemporary sociology is to understand, illuminate and bridge the divide between structure and agency. ...

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