Since the 1990s, the emerging field of childhood studies has been catalyst for empirical research, for policy analysis, and for the development of professional practice. Which concepts and theories are the most helpful in analyzing phenomena relevant to children’s lives? The book reflects on this debate and discusses current challenges of major disciplines within the social studies of childhood.
The contributions approach the question of how childhood studies needs to, and might, develop in the future by focusing on: • the social and cultural character of childhood in relation to the generational order – change or continuity? • the social construction of childhood and children`s agency – critical challenges or critiques? • the role of new technologies in the cultural and social construction of childhood – revolution or intensification? • interdisciplinarity – new knowledge or just more knowledge? • synthesing social theory, social policy and empirical findings of social science research – conformism or expansion? • Participation and children’s rights – technologies of the self or routes to (roots of) politicization? Finally, the book considers whether alternative conceptualisations of children and childhood are needed in late modernity/late capitalism. From the contents: Jo Moran-Ellis/Heinz Sünker: Future-proofing childhood studies? If we can’t predict the future, can we at least prepare for it? Rita Braches-Chyrek: Poor child, rich child: the effects of social processes on inclusion and exclusion Aytüre Türkyilmaz: ‘Toward the Past, the Future and the Present’ – A Theoretical and Empirical Perspective on the Child as (Inter-)Actor Nigel Thomas: Childhood and Participation: between domination and freedom Charlotte Röhner: Children as Refugees Annika Heinl: Digital Natives: Media as a new challenge and opportunity of Early Childhood Education