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Children, new social risks and policy change: A lego™ future?

Childhood: Changing Contexts

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1419-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-533-8

Publication date: 14 April 2008


Recent intensification of the “politicisation of childhood” has been observed by analysts in numerous social science disciplines, and in a variety of public policy domains. Sociologists of childhood, for example, often attribute this greater politicisation both to shifts in the social construction of “social problems” and visions of children's agency (for example Mayall, 1994; Oakley, 1994, p. 17; Qvortrup, 1994; Livingstone, 2002, p. 13). Others observe this politicisation in changing patterns of defamilialisation and refamilialisation of social care and their implications for patterns of social solidarity (Leira & Saraceno, 2002 or Wincott, 2006, for example). Indeed, the politicisation of childhood – defined as the move from childhood being understood as primarily a family or parental responsibility to it being also a matter of public importance and concern – has emerged as a major theme in debates about “modernising” social policy paradigms (for example, Leira, 2002; Jenson, 2004; Esping-Andersen, Gallie, Hemerijck, & Myles, 2002).


Jenson, J. (2008), "Children, new social risks and policy change: A lego™ future?", Leira, A. and Saraceno, C. (Ed.) Childhood: Changing Contexts (Comparative Social Research, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 357-381.



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