Childhoods in context offers a critical exploration of childhood, drawing attention to the physical and social context of children and young people's lives. Three key themes are explored:
· Childhood is always located somewhere. The book offers insights into childhood by focusing on places specially designed for children as well as the territories that children develop for themselves.
· Childhood is experienced through objects, people and places and through everyday routines. Discussions about childhood are rooted in the details of children's lives, whether on the street, in an institution or in different definitions of home.
· Childhood and adult identities are relational. Definitions and understandings of childhood are dependent on how adulthood is viewed.
These themes are explored through accounts of home and family, school, public spaces and sites of work in local and global settings. They raise questions about methodological approaches to understanding childhoods in context which is the focus of the concluding chapter.
This is the third in a series of four books, written by experts in the field, which provides an introduction to childhood degree programmes and related modules. The series features international case studies, examples and readings to supplement the chapters, and is illustrated in full colour. Other books in the series are:
· Understanding childhood: a cross-disciplinary approach
· Children and young people's cultural worlds
· Local childhoods, global issues
Alison Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at The Open University, UK. Her research interests include children’s experiences of place, school design and the development of participatory research methods with young children.
Children in and out of place ~ Alison Clark ~ Lesley Gallacher; Home and family ~ Alison Clark ~ Mary Jane Kehily; Public spaces ~ Peter Kraftl; Making schools: spaces, objects and relationships ~ Alison Clark; Children and work ~ Lindsay O'Dell ~ Sarah Crafter ~ Heather Montgomery; Using visual data in research on childhood ~ Martyn Hammersley.
"Childhoods in context represents a valuable source of knowledge about childhood and children’s lives. It draws attention to children’s identities as relational and connected to places. It is highly inspiring and will be of great interest to a wide audience. " Anne Trine Kjorholt, Norwegian Centre for Child Research
“This book provides a comprehensive account of the spatial materialities of childhood. Drawing together disparate strands of the debates around children's spaces and places, it provides key interdisciplinary insights that underscore the global importance of understanding the spatial contexts of children's lives. Well-written and accessible, this book will make a significant and timely contribution to the childhood studies field.”
Professor Allison James, University of Sheffield