The Sociology of Early Childhood is a theoretically and historically grounded examination of young children’s experiences in contemporary society. Arguing that a sociology of early childhood must bring together and integrate different disciplines, this book: • synthesises different sociological perspectives on childhood as well as incorporating multi-disciplinary research findings on the lives of young children • explains key theoretical concepts in early childhood studies such as investment, early intervention, professional power and discourse • examines the importance of play, memory and place • evaluates long term parenting trends • uses illustrative examples and case studies, discussion questions and annotated further reading to engage and stimulate readers. Invigorating and thought provoking, this is an invaluable read for advanced undergraduates and postgraduate students looking for a more nuanced and progressive understanding of childhood.

A relational sociology of early childhood

A relational sociology of early childhood

Introduction

This chapter will present the main theoretical argument for a relational sociology of early childhood, one that develops a flexible and dynamic approach that can understand and explain the early years as a distinctive period of human development, integrating research findings on young children from a range of different but related disciplines like biology, psychology and history. In the last chapter I discussed some of the recent concerns expressed by contemporary sociologists of childhood about the future direction of their area. James (2010), for example, argues that it has reached a crossroads in its development because of the competing paradigms that are now being pursued under the interdisciplinary umbrella of childhood studies. He ...

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