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The Child in Society

The Child in Society

November 2014 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The child has a very special place in society, and society defines and shapes childhood. Understanding childhood is essential to early years students and this book offers a great introduction.

Taking a thematic approach, chapters cover:

  • Historical and Cultural Perspectives
  • Policy and Economic Perspectives
  • Psychological and Biological Perspectives
  • Contemporary Views.

Each chapter prompts you to reflect on core issues and interrogate your practice and attitudes towards children in your care.

This fantastic foundation will help you to begin to understand the relationship between the child and society.

Introducing Childhood
Geographical and Anthropological Perspectives
Historical Perspectives
Spiritual and Philosophical Perspectives
Psychological and Biological Perspectives
Sociological Perspectives
Economic and Policy Perspectives
Educational Perspectives
Contemporary Perspectives
Factual and Fictional Perspectives

A fascinating journey through the analysis of childhood. The author draws on a wide-range of material from across the disciplines to explore childhood through a variety of lenses. Accessible, well-written and a joy to read. Hazel. R. Wright has produced perhaps the best multi-disciplinary book yet to be written exploring childhood.


Nick Frost
Professor of Social Work (Childhood, Children and Families) Leeds Beckett University

This is a fabulous book which manages to provide both breadth and detail, and also manages to be academically rigorous whilst being very accessibly written.  This book addresses different disciplinary approaches to this field of study, which Wright skilfully builds into a coherent and in-depth account of childhood across time and place.

Mandy Lee
Associate Head of Department, Education and Early Years, University of West England

The range and ambition of this book is impressive and the diversity of topics gives a broad framework and a wealth of information from which to examine childhood... In addition, free access to selected journal articles relating to the various topics extends the scope of the text and points for reflection at the end of each chapter engage the reader and provide opportunities for discussion – all these aspects are likely to appeal to tutors and students. Wright’s ambition, as identified in her preface, was to ‘bring multiple ideas together to form a single narrative’; in this she certainly succeeds and the book provides a useful addition to early childhood texts.

Rory McDowall Clark, University of Worcester
Early Years: An International Research Journal

Every ECS student needs to have an understanding of “childhood”. This book analyses “childhood” from a range of perspectives. An easy to read and informative resource.

Mrs Emma Harvey
Education, Suffolk New College
January 6, 2023

Fits well with taught module

Mrs Suzanne Caroline Barham
Education Department, Boston College
February 6, 2020

This is an interesting text which moves the discussion of childhood as a social construct forward. It will provide some interesting areas for discussion and some challenges to students' thinking about children's agency, voice and rights.

Mrs Mary-Louise Maynes
Department of Education Studies, Bishop Grosseteste University
June 15, 2017

Students embarking on a degree in Early Childhood, learn very early that a large part of their studies involves looking at theory and the child in the social context of the time. This book supports them in achieving this

Mrs Nicola Demetriadi
Childhood Studies, Chichester University
February 3, 2017

Well written, easy to read chapters with relevant up to date information. The chapter on the contemporary child is particularly relevant to the course. A lovely reference book which will be a favourite of learners.

Miss Julie Anderson
Health , Tyne Metropolitan College
July 15, 2016

This is a very good book for anyone studying issues around childhood, the historical discussion is particularly good.

Mrs Justine Gallagher
Social Work and Communities, Northumbria University
October 28, 2015

Wright presents a very good analysis of childhood informed by a variety and well explained lenses, such as History, Anthropology, Economy, Psychology, Biology, Philosophy and Education. In the process she integrates the different disciplinary views into an understandable and coherent account of childhood for our time. She succeeded in addressing with great clarity many current fundamental issues in childhood studies. The book is well structured and written in a very accessible style. The overview at the beginning of each chapter, the summaries and reflection boxes at the end of each chapter, the free access to selected useful journal articles and the references to relevant websites enhances the academic value of this book.

Dr Jan Grobbelaar
Post-graduate faculty - Practical Theology, South African Theological Seminary
November 21, 2015

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