Not So 'New'? Looking Critically at Childhood Studies

E Kay M Tisdall, Samantha Punch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ‘new’ sociology of childhood emerged over 20 years ago, arguing for the social construction of childhood to be acknowledged and for the recognition of children and young people's agency and rights. Other disciplines joined this growing academic area, from children's geographies to law, so that the phrase ‘childhood studies’ has become a popular label. Policy and practice both influenced, and were influenced by, childhood studies, particularly in relation to promoting children's rights. This paper provides an insider's critique of the current state of childhood studies, with attention to theoretical challenges and its applicability across Majority and Minority Worlds. From a childhood studies’ perspective, the paper suggests the potential of notions of relations, relationships and reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages24
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • children
  • childhood
  • children's rights
  • childhood studies
  • Majority world
  • Minority world


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