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.

Becoming and Being: Developments in the Sociology of Childhood

Becoming and Being: Developments in the Sociology of Childhood

Becoming and Being: Developments in the Sociology of Childhood

Chapter Aims

  • To explore the similarities and differences between psychological and sociological approaches to children and childhood.
  • To outline and critically evaluate the contribution of socialisation theory to sociological approaches to understanding children and childhood.
  • To set out the principles of the ‘new’ sociology of childhood.
  • To critically evaluate the ‘newness’ of the ‘new’ sociology of childhood.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Understand some of the core ways in which psychological and sociological approaches to children and childhood differ.
  • Understand the contribution of socialisation theory to the sociology of childhood and the criticisms the concept generated.
  • Describe and illustrate the six features of Prout and James’ ‘new paradigm ...
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