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Key thinkers in childhood studies$
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Carmel Smith and Sheila Greene

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447308072

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447308072.001.0001

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Allison James

Allison James

(p.129) Thirteen Allison James
Key thinkers in childhood studies

Carmel Smith

Sheila Greene

Policy Press

In this chapter Professor Allison James, internationally recognised as one of the UK pioneers of the new sociology of childhood, reflects on the evolution of ideas that led to the declaration of a new paradigm for the study of children and childhood in the early 1990s. She recalls the early meetings when people from a large international and interdisciplinary grouping began to realise that they were part of a new and exciting endeavour. In relation to the field of childhood studies which has subsequently emerged, she explains her continuing interest in studying the particularities of children’s childhood and the importance of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work. She expresses concern about the possible fragmentation of the field and the fact that in some cases, children and childhood seem to have become a vehicle for disciplinary objectives, rather than children and childhood remaining as the central conceptual focus.

Keywords:   sociology of childhood, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, childhood studies, children, childhood

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