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.
In recent years, there has been a strong movement towards establishing childhood studies as a multi-/inter-disciplinary subject. Childhood researchers from sociology, psychology, law, education, anthropology, geography, medicine, and the list is ever growing, all subscribe to outlining the complementary fit within and between disciplines and their contribution to enhancing understanding of children and their everyday lives. But it remains unclear whether childhood studies is a newly emerging academic field or simply the gathering together and rebranding of what is already known, albeit in diverse disciplines, about children and their childhood (Kehily, 2008). While the wide-ranging perspectives that characterise childhood studies are laudable, at times, the role of specific disciplines gets somehow lost. The particular contribution of sociology to childhood studies tends to become ...