You are here

The Sociology of Childhood
Share

The Sociology of Childhood

Fifth Edition


© 2018 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

William A. Corsaro’s groundbreaking text, The Sociology of Childhood, discusses children and childhood from a sociological perspective. Corsaro provides in-depth coverage of the social theories of childhood, the peer cultures and social issues of children and youth, children and childhood within the frameworks of culture and history, and social problems and the future of childhood. The Fifth Edition has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the latest research and the most pertinent information so readers can engage in powerful discussions on a wide array of topics.

 

 
Preface
 
About the Author
 
PART ONE: THE SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF CHILDHOOD
 
1. Social Theories of Childhood
Sociology’s Rediscovery of Childhood  
Traditional Theories: Socialization  
Interpretive Reproduction: Children Collectively Participate in Society  
Language and Cultural Routines  
From Individual Progression to Collective Reproductions  
Summary  
 
2. The Structure of Childhood and Children’s Interpretive Reproductions
Assumptions of the Structural Perspective  
Childhood, Children’s Activities, and Interpretive Reproduction in Peer Culture  
Summary  
 
3. Studying Children and Childhood
Macrolevel Methods  
Microlevel Methods  
Nontraditional Methods in Studying Children  
Ethical Issues in Researching Children’s Lives  
Summary  
 
PART II. CHILDREN, CHILDHOOD AND FAMILIES IN HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT
 
4. Historical Views of Childhood and Children
Philippe Ariès’s Centuries of Childhood  
The Debate Regarding Grand-Stage Theories of the Family and Childhood  
The New History of Childhood  
Summary  
 
5. Social Change, Families and Children
Examining Changes in Families From the Children’s Perspective  
Children’s Everyday Lives in Families  
The Effects of Recent Socioeconomic Changes on Families, Children, and Childhood in Western Societies  
The Effects of Recent Socioeconomic Changes on Children and Childhood in Developing Societies  
Summary  
 
PART III. CHILDREN'S CULTURES
 
6. Children’s Peer Cultures and Interpretive Reproduction
Examining Peer Culture from Children’s Perspective  
Central Importance of Peer Culture in Interpretive Reproduction  
Symbolic Aspects of Children's Cultures  
Material Aspects of Children’s Cultures  
Children, Parents, and Consumer Culture  
Summary  
 
7. Sharing and Control in Initial Peer Cultures
Central Themes in Children’s Initial Peer Cultures  
Friendship, Sharing, and Social Participation  
Autonomy and Control in Peer Culture  
Summary  
 
8. Conflict and Differentiation in the Initial Peer Culture
Conflict and Peer Relations  
Social Differentiation in Initial Peer Cultures  
Summary  
 
9. Pre-Adolescent Peer Cultures
Peer Cultures in Preadolescence  
Friendship Processes in Preadolescent Peer Cultures  
Autonomy and Identity in Preadolescent Peer Cultures  
Disputes, Conflict, Friendships, and Gender  
Generation M: Electronic Media in the Lives of Preadolescents and Adolescents  
Effects and Process of Media Use in the Lives of Preadolescents and Adolescents  
Summary  
 
PART IV. CHILDREN, SOCIAL PROBLEMS, AND THE FUTURE OF CHILDHOOD
 
10. Children, Social Problems, and the Family
Changing Family Structures and Children's Lives  
Work, Families, and Childhood  
Divorce and Its Effects on Children  
Child Abuse in the Family  
Summary  
 
11. Children, Social Problems and Society
Poverty and the Quality of Children’s Lives  
Teen Pregnancy and Nonmarital Births  
Violence, Victimization, and the Loss of Childhood  
The Profound and Inspiring Resilience of Children and Youth in Highly Challenging Life Circumstances  
Summary  
 
12. The Future of Childhood
The Major Challenges  
Some More Modest Proposals to Enrich Children’s Lives  
Conclusion  
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

“I like the fact that this text makes an in-depth examination of the socially-constructed nature of childhood, and illustrates how this phase of the life course has been defined differently in different time periods, which has impacted the expectations for, responsibilities of, communications with, and valuing of children during different time periods.”

Jan Buhrman
Illinois College
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • The new edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the recent explosion of research in the field. New or expanded coverage includes:
  • Methods for studying youths as well as debates about ethics in research on children
  • Children's everyday lives in families in western and non-western societies
  • Sharing and control in initial peer cultures, especially related to children's language and improvised play
  • Preadolescent peer culture related to sport
  • The 2016 election and possible impacts on federal policies to improve the lives of families and children
  • Children's symbolic culture and material culture
  • Children, parents, and consumer culture 
  • Aggression and bullying
  • Electronic media in the lives of preadolescents and adolescents
  • Changes in the racial and ethnic diversity of the children's population in the U.S.
  • Three new breakout sections have been added:
  • Children’s Resilience in Illness, Abuse, Disasters, and Wars
  • Children, the Environment, and Sustainability
  • Collective Identity, Intergenerational Relations, and Civic Society
  • The latest data for a wide range of social indicators has been incorporated, including: family leave, childcare, early education, divorce and child abuse, poverty in industrial and developing societies, teen pregnancy and non-marital births in a comparative perspective, and violence against children.
KEY FEATURES: 

  • Focuses on children's relationships with peers and adults, including coverage of children's peer cultures from preschool through pre-adolescence.
  • Presents an interpretive perspective on the sociology of childhood which contrasts the more traditional socialization or outcome approaches.
  • Includes section on children’s rights, including a description and discussion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Addresses current policy debates and changing demographics related to children in today’s societies.
  • Contains numerous examples of children’s actual play and behavior.
  • Provides new photographs and charts that capture the complexity and diversity of children’s lives.


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 7

Chapter 11


Preview this book

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$28.00*
*180 day rental