Skip to main content

Childhood in a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition



Childhood in a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition

Karen Wells

ISBN: 978-0-745-68493-2 December 2014 Polity 264 Pages


The second edition of this compelling and popular book offers a unique global perspective on children’s lives throughout the world. It shows how the notion of childhood is being radically re-shaped, in part as a consequence of globalization.

Taking an engaging historical and comparative approach, the book explores social issues such as how children are constituted as raced, classed and gendered subjects; how children’s involvement in war is connected to the globalization of capitalism and organized crime; and how school and work operate as sites for the governing of childhood. The book discusses wide-ranging topics including children’s rights, the family, children and war, child labour and young people’s activism around the globe. In addition to updated literature throughout, the revised edition includes new chapters on migration and trafficking, and the role of play.

The book will continue to be of great value to students and scholars in the fields of sociology, geography, social policy and development studies. It will also be a valuable companion to practitioners of international development and social work, as well as to anyone interested in childhood in the contemporary world.
Chapter 1: Childhood in a Global Perspective
Chapter 2: Policy and Practice
Chapter 3: Race, Class and Gender
Chapter 4: Children and Families
Chapter 5: School and Work
Chapter 6: Play in a Global Context
Chapter 7: Children and Politics
Chapter 8: Children and Youth at War
Chapter 9: Children and Migration
Chapter 10: Rescuing Children and Children’s Rights
- A whole new chapter on migration and trafficking.
- A whole new chapter on the role of play.
- Updated literature and examples throughout.
- Further developed further reading sections.

Wells provides a lucid, topical and up-to-date exposition of key issues concerning contemporary children and childhoods. Wells’s ability to skilfully combine broad discussion with close analyses makes this a necessary, insightful and accessible text.
Sarada Balagopalan, Rutgers University

Childhood in a Global Perspective is essential reading for contemporary times. The critical elements of twenty-first-century childhoods are explored in coherent and meaningful ways that include discussions of policy and practice, race, class and gender. At the core of the book is a fundamental concern with the lives and welfare of children globally and Wells is able to make connections about the ways in which children’s lives are shaped by their cultural, social, personal and economic milieu in new and dynamic ways.
Nicola Yelland, Victoria University