Childhood with Bourdieu
Leena Alanen, Liz Brooker and Berry Mayall
Palgrave Macmillan, January 2015
This book breaks new ground in its theorizing of childhood within sociological concepts. Over the course of nine chapters, authors give detailed accounts of the lives of children in a range of societies, including England, sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Ireland, France, Andhra Pradesh and Finland. They describe their studies in the light of Bourdieu’s key concepts – field, habitus and capital – to consider the social status of childhood, the tensions between schooling and work in the lives of children, children’s relations with adults, and the pressures on childhood resulting from globalization and from the professional discourse of those adults who aim to help them. The authors are all established researchers who are committed to improving the social status and well-being of childhood, in social, economic and political worlds that too often fail to accord children respect for their human rights.