December 2014, Polity
In this clear and concise book, Michael Wyness offers fresh insights into the current state of play within childhood studies. Drawing on work from a number of disciplines including sociology, geography and history, he discusses the contested terrain of theoretical and research advances with particular attention to the notion of children’s agency and the concept of global childhoods. Key conceptual debates are illustrated through a range of contemporary issues that affect children and adults, including inequality, child abuse, ill-health, child labour, sexualization and identity formation.
This book will appeal to students and academics within the fields of sociology, education, geography, history and childhood studies.
Chapter 1. Conceptualizing Agency
Chapter 2. The Recognition and Distribution of Children’s Agency
Chapter 3. Childhood, Globalization and Global Standards
Chapter 4. Childhoods: Diversity and Hybridity
Chapter 5. Childhood and Generation
Chapter 6. Childhood, Wellbeing and Multi-Disciplinarity
Conclusion: Relocating Children and Childhood
Focusing on children’s agency from multiple perspectives as well as globalization’s complex effects on children and childhood, Wyness provides a compelling and innovative contribution to childhood studies. The book is well written, well grounded in the relevant theoretical and substantive literature, and full of insightful and timely case studies. Wyness’s Childhood is a gem!
William A. Corsaro, Indiana University
Michael Wyness has a deep understanding of all the key issues in the sociology of childhood and this shines through this short but illuminating introduction to the topic.
Alan Prout, University of Leeds