General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title No kidding. Introduction to (new) childhood studies
Language English
Module lecturer Maja Brzozowska-Brywczyńska, Ph.D
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Sociology
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 24-PIE-NKC


Module aim (aims)

To acquaint students with the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies and offer them conceptual tools necessary to take childhood into perspective while analysing the complexities of the contemporary social world.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Basic knowledge of sociological and psychological theories regarding socialisation and child development might be useful but is not required.


Week 1 and 2: The concept of childhood. A brief history of social and cultural constructs of childhood: the key and formative moments in the discourse of childhood; social constructivism as the fundamental reference point)

Week 3: Childhood in (social) sciences. Various contexts behind the formation of scientific reflection on childhood: pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, pedagogy, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.

Week 4 and 5: From a childhood in sociology to the (new) sociology of childhood. Formative ideas and (contested) paradigms. The "new" new sociology of childhood and the decentralisation of the child in childhood studies.

Week 6: Socialisation: a whipping boy for childhood studies? Beyond Parsons: William Corsaro's interpretive reproduction.

Week 7: Agency: the keyword and the key problem of new childhood sociology. From essentialist to relational concepts of child(hood) agency.

Week 8: Case studies of childhood sociology: the disappearance and rediscovery of childhood. Childhood in/as a crisis; childhood in late modernity and its discontents.

Week 9: Case studies of childhood sociology: the geographies of childhood. The architecture of play, the right to the city.

Week 10: Case studies of childhood sociology: the politics of childhood. Children's rights between the discourses of care and control. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the critique of western ideas about children's place in the social world.

Week 11: Case studies of childhood sociology: queer childhoods, or the intersection between queer studies and childhood studies

Week 12: Case studies of childhood sociology: disabled children’s childhood studies

Week 13: Child status: citizen. Understandings of children's citizenship.

Week 14: Child status: community member. Models and practices of children's participation.

Week 15: Doing research with children. Ethics in research involving children, challenges of children-centered participatory research.

Reading list

Corsaro William (2015), The Sociology of Childhood

Wyness Michael (2012), Childhood and Sociology

Leonard Madeleine (2016), The Sociology of Children, Childhood and Generation

Greig Anne, Taylor Jayne, MacKay Tommy (2013), Doing Research With Children. A practical guide

Invernizzi Antonella, Williams Jane (red) (2008), Children and Citizenship

Spyros Spyrou (2018) Disclosing Childhoods: Research and Knowledge Production in Critical Childhood Studies

Prout Alan (2005) The Future of Childhood