Key Issues in Childhood and Youth Studies: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Key Issues in Childhood and Youth Studies

1st Edition

Edited by Derek Kassem, Lisa Murphy, Elizabeth Taylor


220 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-11-02
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Key Issues in Childhood and Youth Studies presents an informed and critical commentary on a range of key issues related to children and childhood, from birth to eighteen years. Challenging current orthodoxies within the adult world on the nature of childhood, it is an essential text for students of childhood and youth studies as well as those studying relevant professional qualifications in social work, teaching and health.

Exploring ideas from the historical development of childhood to the demonising of youth, it is divided into five clearly defined sections, each with their own editorial introduction which highlights the key themes. The sections focus on:

  • the concept and creation of childhood
  • child development
  • ideas of risk, protection and childhood
  • the politics of childhood
  • international perspectives on childhood.

This invaluable textbook provides an overview of childhood and youth studies and encourages students to think about the issues discussed and to develop their own ideas. Each chapter contains student activities, key concept boxes, recommended further reading and a reflection exercise.


‘Immediately accessible and engaging for the newcomer to childhood studies, this book provides a strong and cohesive framework for understanding childhood in the contemporary world. The breadth of coverage resists any comfortable or parochial notion of childhood. Instead, it offers critical, global perspectives on issues defining modern childhood. It is a long time since I read a book on childhood that is so comprehensive and comprehensible. This book should be recommended as core reading.’ – Russell Jones, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Table of Contents

Part 1: Creating Childhood 1. The Origins of Childhood: In the Beginning… John Clarke 2. Construction of Childhood: The Building Blocks Shirley J Pressler 3. Race, Racism and Mixed Heritage: A Mixed Life Derek Kassem Part 2: The Developing Child 4. The Psychology of the Child: Mind Games Diahann Gallard 5. The Development of Speech and Language: Inborn or Bred Lisa Murphy 6. Childhood Sexuality: Coming of Age John Clarke Part 3: Children and Risk 7. Children and the Notion of Risk: The Nanny State? Andrew Kennedy 8. The Child and Protection: Not Seen, Not Heard Lynne Kendal 9. Life as a Looked-after Child: The Parent of Last Resort Derek Kassem 10. Healthy in Body, Healthy in Mind John Harrison Part 4: The Politics of Childhood 11. The Social Construction of Deviant Identities: The Devil Wears a Hoodie John Robinson 12. The Testing Regime of Childhood: Up Against the Wall Terry Wrigley 13. The Rights of the Child: Rightfully Mine! Heather Montgomery 14. Childhood and Youth Poverty in the UK: The Have-Nots Diane Grant Part 5: The Global Child 15. The Palestinian Experience: Brutalized Childhoods Samir Qouta 16. Childhood in the Context of HIV/AIDS: The Death of Childhood Gabriella Torstensson 17. Moving for a Better Life: To Go or to Starve Sam Punch

About the Editors

Derek Kassem is Principal Lecturer/ Deputy Centre Leader in the Centre for Education Studies and Primary Education at Liverpool John Moores University, with responsibility for both Early Childhood Studies and Education Studies.

Lisa Murphy is Principal Lecturer/ Deputy Centre Leader with responsibility for Primary Education within the Centre for Education Studies and Primary Education at Liverpool John Moores University.

Elizabeth Taylor is Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
MEDICAL / Allied Health Services / General
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery