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.



This book has argued that there is an urgent need to develop a relational sociology of early childhood, one that focuses on the earliest experiences of young children. Young children are born into interdependent relationships that existed before them: as they grow up these relationships with their parents, siblings and friends change but are structured by different societies and in different historical epochs. One of the key arguments in this book is that in order to develop a distinctive sociology of early childhood, one should not only focus on the relational aspects of early childhood and adulthood, but also at the same time view them as long-term processes with deep historical roots. In Chapter 2, I explained how these social processes should be ...

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