This concise book gives a history of how the sociology of childhood has developed, contextualised in the history of sociology. It draws on the author's own experiences, considers a wide range of published documents and includes contributions on specific topics by some of the main players in the field: Jens Qvortrup, Priscilla Alderson, Liesbeth de Block and Virginia Morrow. The book describes how this relatively new discipline evolved and considers its principal propositions. It looks back to the post-war period, notably in the USA, and shows how sociological ideas about childhood arose from developmental psychology; how they began to be formulated to act in complement to psychological ideas and how some US psychologists began to explore variations in ideas about childhood in varying societies. It also explores the history of sociological ideas about childhood in both the UK and, most importantly, mainstream Europe and considers links between sociological and rights agendas.
This book concludes with consideration of the latest developments in this field such as globalisation and media studies; work in other languages, such as French and Portuguese and gives an account of work emerging in the majority world and its relevance for theoretical developments. It is essential reading for university students on all varieties of childhood courses. It contextualises this field within theory and provides a clear picture of the constituents of the discipline. It is also relevant to those working within psychological paradigms but with an interest in considering alternative and complementary approaches.