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Sociology has made a significant and distinctive contribution to knowledge and understanding of childhood in contemporary society. By challenging taken-for-granted assumptions that simplistically view childhood as an age-specific universal state of being, sociologists draw attention to the wider historical, cultural, social, and economic settings in which children live their daily lives.

Providing a significant critique to and moving beyond socialisation theory, which had failed to fully articulate and empirically demonstrate the the extent to which children create meaning through their relationships with each other and with adults, the new sociology of childhood that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s sought to reposition children as active actors. This entry outlines the significant contribution of the new sociology of childhood to childhood studies and its impact on methodology. ...

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