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This text is the result of an extensive bibliographical research on the development of Childhood Studies in various regions of Brazil based on the understanding that…
This text is the result of an extensive bibliographical research on the development of Childhood Studies in various regions of Brazil based on the understanding that childhood is a social discursive construction, as well as human rights, and both concepts are interlinked when the subject in focus is the children’s rights. According to research data while advances in the concept of childhood have supported specific child protection policies, the issue of marginalization and inequalities affecting children is some of the central matters developed within childhood studies in Brazil. In this article, we map the advances of childhood studies in Brazil and its relation to children’s rights. However, we may state that neither childhood nor children’s rights are still a reality for all Brazilian children, especially when considering other markers that have challenged the rights of our children, such as race, ethnicity, social class, and gender.
Carles Alsinet is Professor of Social Psychology in the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology at the University of Lleida, Spain. His primary research interests are on children's rights and children's well-being.Loretta E. Bass is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma. She focuses her research on children and stratification issues, and completes research in West Africa and the U.S. She recently completed a book, Child Labor in Sub-Saharan Africa, (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004) which offers a window on the lives of Africa's child workers drawing on research and demographic data from 43 countries. Dr. Bass’ research has appeared in Population Research and Policy Review, Political Behavior, Anthropology of Work Review, and the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy.Michael F. C. Bourdillon was born in Africa and has spent most of his life in Zimbabwe. He is a social anthropologist, who has taught for over 25 years in the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe. He has researched and published extensively on African religion. In recent years, his focus has turned to disadvantaged children in Zimbabwe. Apart from his academic work, he has long worked with an organization supporting street children in Harare. He has also cooperated with Save the Children Alliance, facilitating the establishment of a movement of working children in that country.Doris Bühler-Niederberger is Professor in Sociology at the University of Wuppertal, Germany. Several of her recent research projects have concerned childhood as a domain of professional, moral and political interest and images of childhood and children in public and professional debates. Her teaching and research interests are mainly focused on the sociology of private life and on private strategies of production and reproduction of social status and social order.Suellen Butler is currently the College Program Head of Urban Education (URBCC) and soon will be the coordinator of the Elementary Education in Multicultural Settings (ELEDM) program at Penn State Delaware County. Dr. Butler's contribution to this volume explores the activities and practices of the National School and Community Corp (NSCC), an AMERICORP school-based mentoring program in Philadelphia. Dr. Butler examines in what ways these school-based mentoring programs impact the childhood experiences of children and their schools.Steve Carlton-Ford is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and an affiliate with the Department of Sociology's Kunz Center for the Study of Work and Family. His research examines both the impact of war on children's life chances and the effect of chronic childhood illness (particularly epilepsy) on family relationships and children's well being. He currently edits Sociological Focus, the journal of the North Central Sociological Association.Ferran Casas is Senior Professor of Social Psychology in the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Girona, Spain. He is Director of the Research Institute on Quality of Life. He is author of many books and articles on children's rights. His main topics of research are well-being and quality of life, children's rights and intergenerational relationships.Verna Chow has training in neuropsychology and is a researcher at the University of Calgary. Verna Chow's and Dr. Hiller's contribution to this volume stems from a mutual interest in second-generation immigrants and their adaptation to Canadian Society, which officially proclaims itself as multicultural.Laura Daniel received a FAPESP Award as a student at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) – Marilia, for researching “Toys and Games: Childhood in the Parque das Nações Favela,” which was supervised by Dr. Ethel Volfzon Kosminsky. She is currently a Social Sciences Master's degree student at the same university in Brazil, researching children and gender.Fabio Ferrucci is an Associate Professor of Sociology of Culture and Sociology of Education at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Molise (Italy). His research focuses on the family, social policy and non-profit sector. He is the author of several articles on childhood and family policies in Italy.Cristina Figuer holds a Master's in Psychology and is currently a doctoral student in the Psychology and Quality of Life Program and researcher of the Institute on Quality of Life at the University of Girona, Spain.Kevin M. Fitzpatrick is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. His primary research focus is on health-compromising behavior among children and adolescents. In addition, he continues his work examining the role of environments and their impact on the mental health and well-being of homeless, youth, and other high-risk populations.Mònica González holds a Master's in Psychology and is currently a doctoral student in the Psychology and Quality of Life Program and researcher of the Institute on Quality of Life at the University of Girona, Spain.Daniela Grignoli is a Researcher at the Department of Economics, Management and Social Sciences of the University of Molise (Italy). She teaches Sociological Methodology and conducts research on children and new technologies.Mireia Gusó holds a Master's in Economics and is currently a researcher of the Institute on Quality of Life at the University of Girona, Spain.Patrick Heuveline is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, and Research Associate at the Population Research Center, NORC and the University of Chicago. His research centers on the family as an adaptive institution and its key role in linking macro-level changes and individual behaviors. He is currently studying the consequences of mortality change in Cambodia and in high HIV-prevalence populations in Southern Africa. In addition, he is launching an international study of the effects of the relationship between the family and the State on youth well being across Western countries.Harry H. Hiller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. His specialization is dealing with macro-level questions about Canadian Society and he is the author of Canadian Society: A Macro Analysis (Prentice-Hall, numerous editions). Dr. Hiller's and Verna Chow's contribution to this volume stems from a mutual interest in second-generation immigrants and their adaptation to Canadian Society, which officially proclaims itself as multicultural.David A. Kinney received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington and did post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago. He is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for the Ethnography of Everyday Life at the University of Michigan. In addition to being the current Co-Series Editor of the Sociological Studies of Children and Youth with Katherine Brown Rosier, his publications have appeared in Sociology of Education, Youth and Society, Personal Relationships During Adolescence (Sage), and New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Jossey-Bass). He is currently conducting ethnographic research with children and their parents in a study of how families manage work, home life, and children's activity involvement in a fast-paced society.Ethel Volfzon Kosminsky, Professor of Sociology at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) – Marilia, has been a recipient of research grants from the Brazilian organization CNPq and was a Fulbright grantee in the U.S. in 1995. Chair of the Graduate Program of Social Sciences at UNESP-Marilia from 2000 to 2004, she currently leads the Center of Studies of Children and Adolescents at UNESP-Marilia, and the Network for the Study of Latin American Children and Youth.Madeleine Leonard is a Reader in Sociology at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, Queen's University, Belfast. Her research interests fall within the broad remit of the “new sociology” of childhood and she has conducted research with children on a wide range of topics including their experiences of poverty, their experiences of paid employment and their participation in domestic labor within the household. Her current research concerns Protestant and Catholic children growing up along one of the most contentious peace-lines in Belfast and the research examines children's roles as political actors in Northern Irish society.Antonio Mancini is a Junior Researcher at the Department of Economics, Management and Social Sciences of the University of Molise (Italy). He is the author of several articles on children's rights. He has also co-edited a book about the rights of the children.Hyunjoon Park is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the process of transition to adulthood, particularly among young people in East Asia, across several dimensions including educational and occupational attainment. Currently, he is working on a dissertation project that compares the effects of family and school on educational achievement among 15-year olds in 30 countries using the PISA data. Recent publications include “Age and Self-Rated Health in Korea: A Research Note” (Social Forces, forthcoming) and “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Voluntary and Involuntary Job Mobility among Young Men” (with Gary Sandefur, Social Science Research, 2003).Bettina F. Piko, M.D., Ph.D., graduated from medical school in 1991, then started her career in the field of public health. In the meantime, she earned an M.A. degree in sociology and a Ph.D. in health psychology and behavioral sciences. Currently she is an associate professor of behavioral sciences at the University of Szeged Hungary, and her research activities embrace research topics from psychosocial youth development, substance use and problem behavior, up to psychosocial work environment, social support and societal stress.Samantha Punch is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Science at Stirling University. She recently completed a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship during which time she conducted a study of children's experiences of sibling relationships and birth order in the U.K. Prior to this, she worked with Roger Fuller, Christine Hallett and Cathy Murray on the project “Young People and Welfare: Negotiating Pathways” which explored Scottish children's problems and their coping strategies, as part of the ESRC's Children 5–16 Programme. Her doctoral research included two years of ethnographic fieldwork on rural childhoods in Bolivia where she investigated the ways in which children and young people negotiate their autonomy at home, school, work and play.Marina Rago is a Junior Researcher at the Department of Economics, Management and Social Sciences of the University of Molise (Italy). She is currently involved in research projects on the implementation of children's rights.Katherine Brown Rosier is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University. She published Mothering Inner-City Children in 2000 with Rutgers University Press and is currently the Co-Series Editor of the Sociological Studies of Children and Youth with David Kinney. Other publications have appeared in The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Human Development, The Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and several other journals and edited volumes. While continuing to write on experiences of low-income African-American children and families, she is also conducting research and writing a book with colleague Scott L. Feld on Louisiana's Covenant Marriage.Carles Rostan is Professor of Developmental Psychology in the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Girona, Spain and researcher of the Institute on Quality of Life. His primary research interests are on children's development and children's rights.Marta Sadurní is Professor of Developmental Psychology in the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Girona, Spain. She is researcher of the Institute on Quality of Life. Her primary research interests are on children's development and children's rights.Gary D. Sandefur is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His publications include Growing Up with a Single Parent (Harvard University Press, 1994) with Sara McLanahan, “What Happens after the High School Years among Young Persons with Disabilities,” Social Forces, 82 (2003), 803–832 with Thomas Wells and Dennis Hogan, and “Off to a Good Start? Postsecondary Education and Early Adult Life,” in Richard Settersten, Frank Furstenberg, and Ruben Rumbaut (Eds), On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy, University of Chicago Press, forthcoming with Jennifer Eggerling-Boeck and Hyunjoon Park. He is currently working on quantitative and qualitative analyses of the transition to adulthood in the United States and other countries.Angelo Saporiti is Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Molise (Italy). Dr. Saporiti also teaches Social Ethics, and is the author of books and articles on children's rights. Angelo Saporiti is involved in various research international networks on childhood sociology and children's rights.Jeffrey M. Timberlake is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Research Associate at the Kunz Center for the Study of Work and Family at the University of Cincinnati. He primarily studies the causes and consequences of urban inequality, particularly race-ethnic residential segregation. Current projects include analyzing data from the 1970 to 2001 Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the 1970 to 2000 U.S. Censuses to estimate racial inequality in children's neighborhood socioeconomic status. In addition to his work with Patrick Heuveline on comparative family demography, he is also conducting several studies of race-ethnic attitudes in America.Darlene Romania Wright is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Birmingham-Southern College. Her primary research interests pertain to adolescent health-compromising behavior. Her current research is on the effects of social capital on violent behavior among secondary school students.
This paper recovers some theoretical elements of the sociology of childhood in the Anglo-Saxon field, to discuss their contributions, scopes and limits about child agency…
This paper recovers some theoretical elements of the sociology of childhood in the Anglo-Saxon field, to discuss their contributions, scopes and limits about child agency in children living in poor and urban contexts, in Latin America. The objective is to contribute to the debates within the field of childhood from a sociological perspective that accentuate the capacity of action and resistance of children even in the framework of structural restrictions, without assuming a decontextualized and ideal approach about the agency.
Loretta Bass, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma, earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1998. Dr. Bass focuses her research on children and stratification issues in West Africa and the U.S. For her dissertation, Working for Peanuts: Children’s Work in Open-Air Markets in Senegal, she collected and examined both qualitative and quantitative data of child workers and their families. Dr. Bass lived in Senegal from 1994 to 1996, and completed follow-up research in Senegal during the summer of 2000. Her chapter in this collection draws on this research. Her research has appeared in the Population Research and Policy Review, Political Behavior, Anthropology of Work Review, and the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy.Marilou C. Legazpi Blair is the Assistant Director of Institutional Research at Erie Community College. She received her Ph.D. from Penn State, and has performed a substantial amount of research on issues of child development. Aside from her interests in adolescent status attainment, she has also studied the impact of immigration on both adults and children in the United States. She is currently involved in an examination of adults who return to school for the continuation of uncompleted degree work.Sampson Lee Blair is an Associate Professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo. As a family sociologist, most of his research to date has focused on family relationships, and particularly those between parents and children. More recently, he has been involved in studies of justice issues within the familial context. He recently completed his term as editor of Sociological Inquiry, and is scheduled to be a co-editor of Social Justice Research next year.Sally Bould is Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware with a joint appointment in the department of Individual and Family Studies. She has published numerous articles in the area of the family, family policy and poverty policy. Another article on this research concerning families and neighborhoods will appear in the 2003 Journal of Family Issues. She is the author of the book, Eighty-five Plus, which examines issues of state and family responsibilities for the oldest old and several articles on the oldest old population in the United States, including disability, caregiving and living arrangements. Currently she is a member of the board of The Carework Network.Tiffani Chin recently finished her Ph.D. in Sociology at UCLA. Her dissertation examined how children’s peer cultures intersect with the schools’ social, academic, and evaluative objectives to influence children’s educational experiences. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Scholar with the Middle School Transition Study, studying oppositional culture and students’ transition from elementary school to middle school. Chin is the author of “‘Sixth Grade Madness’: Parental emotion work in the private high school application process” (Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, April 2000) and a co-author of Tutoring Matters: Everything you ever wanted to know about how to tutor (Temple 1999).Amitai Etzioni is the first University Professor of The George Washington University. He served as president of the American Sociological Association from 1994 to 1995, was Senior Advisor to the White House from 1979 to 1980, and was guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1978–1979. From 1958 to 1978, he served as Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. He is the editor of The Responsive Community: Rights and Responsibilities, a Communitarian quarterly. He is the author of twenty-one books, including The Monochrome Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), Next: The Road to the Good Society (New York: Basic Books, 2001), The Limits of Privacy (New York: Basic Books, 1999), and The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (New York: Basic Books, 1996), which received the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 1997 Tolerance Book Award.David A. Kinney received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington and did post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago. He is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University and a faculty affiliate at the Center for the Ethnography of Everyday Life at the University of Michigan. His publications have appeared in Sociology of Education, Youth and Society, Personal Relationships During Adolescence (Sage), and New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Jossey-Bass). He is currently conducting ethnographic research with children and their parents in a study of how families manage work, home life, and children’s activity involvement in a fast-paced society.Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, Arizona State University. She holds a doctorate (1976) and a master’s (1973) in sociology from Brown University and a B.A. (1971) in sociology and history from the University of North Carolina. She has published over ninety articles and book chapters in medical sociology, public health, medicine, and health services research. She has authored or co-authored fifteen books, on topics such as the social and economic impact of coronary artery bypass surgery, the federal role in health policy, public versus private models of service delivery in several different human services areas, controversial issues in health care policy and schools and child health services. Her current research interests include health policy issues, especially access to health care and child health care issues, and research on preventive aspects of health care.Yun-Suk Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is completing his doctoral dissertation on the role of familial relationship in the effect of performance of household tasks on subjective outcomes for children and married people. His research includes comparing several measures of time spent on housework, and studying about changes in working time. In the fall of 2002, he became a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Cornell Employment and Family Careers Institute.Anna B. V. Madamba is a Research Associate at TIAA-CREF in New York City. With a doctorate in demography, most of her research interests are in the field of educational attainment and performance. Her current research involves the examination of the academic performance of children of single mothers.Kimberly A. Mahaffy is Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her research interests are gender, transitions to adulthood, and adolescent sexual risk taking. She recently edited a special issue for the Journal of Mundane Behavior entitled Mundane Sex. She teaches statistics, research methods, social psychology, social problems, and a senior seminar in gender and adolescence at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.Sarah H. Matthews is Professor of Sociology at Cleveland State University. Her current research focuses on the everyday lives of children whose mothers are in a drug treatment program. Her earlier research in the sociology of aging has appeared in gerontology and family journals. Her research on relationships among members of older families is reported in a forthcoming book, Sisters and Brothers/Daughters and Sons: Meeting the Needs of Old Parents.Kathleen M. Mathieson is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, Arizona State University. She holds a master’s degree in Sociology from ASU. Her research interests focus on medical sociology, including concerns of aging, child health and mental health as impacted by work and family conflicts. She has published on the maintenance of functional independence for the elderly, and has presented papers on this topic as well as on child health and child health policy issues.Meredith Phillips is Assistant Professor of Policy Studies and Sociology at UCLA. Phillips’s research focuses on the relationship between social inequality and academic success. Her current projects include a mixed-method study of the academic achievement of college students at a highly-selective university, an ethnographic study of the development of oppositional culture during students’ transition from elementary to middle school, and a statistical study of the distribution of school quality nationally. Phillips is the co-editor of The Black-White Test Score Gap (Brookings, 1998).Katherine Brown Rosier is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University. Her recent book, Mothering Inner-city Children. The Early School Years, was published in 2000 by Rutgers University Press. Other publications have appeared in The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Human Development, The Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and several other journals and edited volumes. While continuing to write on experiences of low-income African American children and families, she is also conducting research and writing a book with colleague Scott L. Feld on Louisiana’s Covenant Marriage.Barbara Schneider is Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and the Co-Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children, and Work. Author of several books, articles and monographs, Dr. Schneider is concerned with encouraging the cognitive and social development of America’s children by reshaping the responsibilities of families, schools, and society. Most recently Dr. Schneider has completed two books, The Ambitious Generation: America’s Teenagers, Motivated but Directionless, and Becoming Adult: How Teenagers Prepare for the World of Work. In both works she discusses how adolescents develop attitudes, skills and expectations about their adult careers.Kimberly A. Scott, Ed.D. is Assistant Professor in Hofstra University’s Foundations, Leadership, and Policy Studies department. She specializes in sociology of education, sociology of childhood, and qualitative research methods. Her research interests include examinations of race, class, and gender influences on the social and academic self-development of elementary school students. She has publications in Equity and Excellence, Journal of Negro Education, and Childhood: A Global Journal of Childhood Research. Currently, she is co-authoring a Rowmann and Littlefield book with Sarane Book entitled, Sociology of Children and Childhood.Linda J. Waite, Ph.D. is the Lucy Flower Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children and Work at the University of Chicago, where she also directs the Center on Aging. She is past Chair of the Family Section of the American Sociological Association and Past President of the Population Association of America. Her current research interests include the working family, especially dual-career couples with children and the impact of job characteristics on parenting. She is also interested in the role of the family at older ages in functioning of individuals, intergenerational transfers and exchanges, and employment. She has published widely on the family, including an award-winning book with Frances Goldscheider, New Families, No Families: The Transformation of the American Home. Her most recent book, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially, with Maggie Gallagher, won the 2000 book award from the Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education.
It could be argued that the sign of ‘maturity’ of an academic paradigm is when it moves to some kind of integration with existing theories or re-engages with elements…
It could be argued that the sign of ‘maturity’ of an academic paradigm is when it moves to some kind of integration with existing theories or re-engages with elements which may initially have been perceived as ‘dangerous’ or antithetical to the original demarcation of the area. As with the re-integration of feminism and reproduction, and disability and embodiment, so perhaps also for the social study of childhood and family research. The necessary political emphasis on the agency and voice of the child in the emerging social study of childhood research may well have been overstating the case (Seymour & McNamee, 2012) and ignoring significant structural and generational impediments in children’s relationships and interactions particularly in domestic spaces. To redress this, as occurred with feminist and disability studies, a contemporary standpoint is required which merges an emancipatory agentic approach to the subject of study with conceptual developments from the previously separated substantive area. This chapter will outline the development of the return of children ‘back into the families’ which has occurred in the last decade. It will show how approaches using family practices, personal lives, family display and generagency can be combined with privileging children’s perspectives and voices at home.
David A. Kinney is professor of sociology at Central Michigan University. He obtained his Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University at Bloomington, completed postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and worked as a research development specialist for the U.S. Department of Education in Philadelphia. His primary research areas are sociology of adolescence and sociology of education. He has published articles and chapters on children's time use, adolescent peer cultures, and education in venues such as Sociology of Education, Youth and Society, American Behavioral Research Scientist, and The Praeger Handbook of American High Schools. He is past president of the Michigan Sociological Association and elected council member of the American Sociological Association sections on Sociology of Children and Youth and Sociology of Education. He became series editor of this volume in 1999 and has been series co-editor with Katherine Brown Rosier since 2004.
Childhood is often defined in contrast to adulthood. Each becomes meaningfully linked so that it is difficult to understand what childhood is without looking at adulthood…
Childhood is often defined in contrast to adulthood. Each becomes meaningfully linked so that it is difficult to understand what childhood is without looking at adulthood or vice versa. Each becomes what the other is not. In a similar vein, structure and agency are often characterised in contrast to each other. The meaning of each becomes dependent on the meaning of the concept which it is set against. Hence, structure becomes defined as ‘constraint while agency becomes defined as freedom, structure is regarded as static while agency is regarded as active; structure becomes defined as collective while agency becomes defined as individual’ (Hays, 1994, p. 57). This way of conceptualising structure and agency often underplays the interconnections between the two. Up until the 1980s, children were primarily considered within developmental psychology and functionalist socialisation frameworks. The former presented childhood as a natural and universal phase of human life with adulthood being seen as the logical endpoint of childhood. The latter adopting teleological frameworks viewed childhood as a preparation for adulthood and focused in particular on the importance of socialisation in reproducing stable adult personalities. In both approaches, children were considered mainly in terms of presumed future outcomes. In breaking with these approaches, the ‘new sociology of childhood’ sought to emphasise children's agency and to consider children's lives in the here and now rather than as future projects. This has resulted in a plethora of qualitative studies that highlight children's position as active agents. Indeed, in developing a new paradigm for the sociology of childhood, Prout and James (1997) specifically recommend ethnography as a preferred method for uncovering and understanding children's daily lives. This has led Qvortrup (1999, p. 3) to express concern that the ‘adherents of the agency approach are gaining the upper hand’. Qvortrup warns that researchers also need to employ structural approaches to fully understand and illuminate the broader landscape of childhood. He reminds us that childhood is a particular and distinctive form of every society's social structure. Rather than a transient phase, it is a permanent social category shaped by macro forces. While of course children practice agency throughout their childhood and ethnographic studies have been crucial in challenging adults’ conceptions of children as irrational, immature and so on, nonetheless, Qvortrup argues that these studies have been less useful in illuminating the position of childhood in macro societal structures. These wider societal forces position children as a minority group conditioned by resilient power relations based on generation, and they have been relatively immune from children's individual or collective agency. In other words, children act as agents under specific structural conditions. Of course, this does not render children's agency as meaningless. Like adults, children actively produce certain forms of social structure, while simultaneously, social structures produce certain types of childhood (see the chapter by Qvortrup, this volume). Hence, structures are enabling as well as constraining (Giddens, 1984). Indeed over the past two decades, adults are becoming increasingly aware of childhood as a structural form and of the durability of power differentials between adults and children and are increasingly working with children to develop a rights-based agenda to further their collective interests. This could be seen as an example of the collective agency of children although it also illustrates how this agency takes place against a backdrop where existing hierarchies between adults and children structure the conditions under which children practice their agency. One could question whether participating in these recurring forms of social interaction make children agents (Hays, 1994, p. 63).
The purpose of this study is to explore rural children’s own perspectives on health, well-being, and nutrition to better understand how they approach, navigate, and make…
The purpose of this study is to explore rural children’s own perspectives on health, well-being, and nutrition to better understand how they approach, navigate, and make sense of these topics.
This study uses a qualitative ethnographic research design theoretically informed by the “new” Sociology of Childhood and methodologically informed by constructivist grounded theory. This ongoing study with fifth-grade students in an elementary school in a small rural school district in central Illinois consists of ethnographic observations conducted at the school, in-depth interviews with students, and participatory tools that seek to involve students more fully in the process of data collection.
Preliminary findings of this pilot study suggest that many aspects often discussed in the context of childhood obesity, especially in rural settings, including knowledge or education about healthy eating, increasing physical activity levels, or access to healthy foods, are complex and multifaceted and do not easily lend themselves to standard interventions. Findings also indicate that children’s ideas about healthy eating deviate from their own eating practices.
Conceptualized as a grounded theory study, the research is not intended to be generalizable or reproducible. Instead, the study seeks to develop hypotheses directly from the field and study participants’ views and voices. These perspectives will inform a more in-depth study of childhood obesity in rural settings planned for 2019.
Originality/Value of Paper
Findings from this pilot study will inform innovative, informed interventions that are guided by children’s own experiences and perspectives. Study findings will also be of benefit to practicing pediatricians and other child health professionals as they understand how to better think about and address challenges of health and weight management of patients and their families.
The sociology of childhood is fraught with problems, not least those centred on the idea, notion or concept of ‘childhood’, and in particular, the issue of how to define…
The sociology of childhood is fraught with problems, not least those centred on the idea, notion or concept of ‘childhood’, and in particular, the issue of how to define, distinguish and identify ‘childhood’ for sociological purposes. The study, analysis and understanding of childhood hinge upon how ‘childhood’ is defined, either explicitly or implicitly, one problem being the plethora of quite diverse approaches in both popular and sociological discourses. While there cannot be a correct definition of ‘childhood’, there can be a best definition, such as for sociological purposes, those of making sense of ‘childhood’ in particular and of social life, relationships and experience in general.
The advent of the Internet and social medial presents major challenges to contemporary social work involving young people and their families particularly in the sphere of…
The advent of the Internet and social medial presents major challenges to contemporary social work involving young people and their families particularly in the sphere of fostering.
This discussion paper begins an exploration of how risk and vulnerability, associated with the use of social networking, are usually managed using a traditional model that is rooted in psychologically informed social work.
Findings and originality/value
The discussion then moves to viewing an alternative model of social work that is informed by the sociology of childhood. An argument is made that this model can be effectively used to meet the challenges of safeguarding in a technological age.