Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies: Reflections on the Making of a Field

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9781447308072: Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies: Reflections on the Making of a Field

Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies presents the contrasting perspectives of some of the leading figures involved in shaping the field of childhood studies over the last thirty years. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-two high profile pioneers in the subject—who together represent a range of disciplines and regions—Carmel Smith and Sheila Greene share a wealth of experiences in this innovative field. The authors and interviewees reflect upon the significant changes that have taken place in the study of children and childhood, discuss the evolution of ideas underpinning the field, examine current tensions and dilemmas, and explore challenges for the future. The result is an innovative look at the ways we think about and care for our children.

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About the Author:

Carmel Smith is a research associate in the Children’s Research Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, where Sheila Greene is a fellow emeritus.


“What is childhood studies? Even established professionals in the field disagree as to what should define this area of study. Depending on the main discipline of an expert one consults, the answers can vary greatly. Smith and Greene provide an interdisciplinary look at this field, based on interviews with twenty-two professionals who have played a significant role in its development. The interviews provide insights from these individuals’ perspectives on the past, present, and future importance of childhood studies. . . . Recommended.” (R. Elrod, University of Florida Choice)

“A fascinating, thought-provoking, and considered resource.” (Children’s Geographies)

“Through beautifully crafted interviews with many of the field’s leading lights, this book offers a rich and deeply informative conversation about the origins and future of the new paradigm of childhood studies. Both newcomers and longtime practitioners will leave these pages invigorated and inspired.” (John Wall Rutgers University, Camden)

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