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.

Young children’s play – challenging the adult establishment

Young children’s play – challenging the adult establishment


Play has long been characterised as a defining activity of young children. It is one very important field where we can observe young children developing their own distinctive stocks of cultural and social capital. As directors of their own play-material they are always trying to develop their own separate play culture, and within that, resist adult power and authority. This chapter will argue that young children’s play should be framed within a relational context: young children create their own cultural practices through the appropriation of adult-centred discourses, but they do not mimic or passively accept the adult world.

Play can take on many forms but builds on the idea that ...

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