New book: A History of the Sociology of Childhood

A History of the Sociology of Childhood

Berry Mayall

Paper: 978 1 78277 021 3
Price:  $18.95
Published: November 2013

Publisher: IOE Press  <>
64 pp., 6 1/8″ x 9 1/5″

This concise book gives a history of how the sociology of childhood has
developed, contextualized in the history of sociology. It draws on the
authorąs 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

A History of the Sociology of Childhood describes how this relatively new
discipline evolved and considers its principal propositions. It looks back
to the post-war period, notably in the US, 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
globalization 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 contextualizes 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

Table of Contents:
Section 1. The importance of developmental psychology in shaping childhoods
Section 2. Precursors of sociological approaches to childhood ­ especially
in the USA
Section 3. Sociological approaches to childhood in the UK ­ early days
Section 4. Childhood sociology in (other) north European countries
Section 5. Current UK work on the sociology of childhood
Section 6. Other recent developments
Concluding discussion

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Reviews & Endorsements:
“Berry Mayalląs history of the sociology of childhood offers succinct and
enlightening insights on the flow, movement, and interaction of ideas that
have combined to form this still-growing field of  scholarship. It is a
resource for students and scholars alike interested in the study of children
and their childhoods.”
– Daniel Thomas Cook, Co-editor, Childhood: A Journal of Global Child
Research and Professor , Rutgers University

łA Śmust-readą for any serious scholar engaging with childhood studies.˛
– Jo Moran-Ellis , University of Surrey