1st Edition

The Sociology of Early Childhood
Young Children’s Lives and Worlds

ISBN 9781138089570
Published August 7, 2018 by Routledge
250 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

The Sociology of Early Childhood brings a new perspective to the field of early childhood education, offering insights into how children's diverse backgrounds shape their life chances. This book will be invaluable for all early childhood educators and students, who want to explore the complexities of contemporary society.

The book takes us through the lives of children from birth to eight years of age, highlighting key issues for babies, for toddlers and for older children, as they grow and learn. Exploring key aspects of inequality, such as gender, social class, race, disability, Indigeneity and sexuality, the sociological insights of this book help educators navigate their role as guides, mediators and advocates for young children. Whether it is understanding children's emotions, working with families, or understanding the challenges of climate change, this book will help, with practical and relevant knowledge.

Traditional approaches to early childhood focus on individual children, often missing a critical awareness of social relationships. There has also been a narrow understanding of children's abilities at a given age or stage, which has ignored the significant impacts of power, privilege and disadvantage. Using sociological theory, the authors unpack how these big issues affect all aspects of children's lives, showing how children struggle to overcome the negative stereotypes which operate to diminish the life chances of many children. This book gives all those who care about or for young children the tools and understanding to become powerful advocates for a better childhood, and a better world.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


Chapter 1. Being Born

Chapter 2. Becoming Ourselves in Relationships

Chapter 3. Agency and Resistance

Chapter 4. Choice and Constraint in Children's Health

Chapter 5. Child Wellbeing – Contested Views

Chapter 6. Understanding Emotions in Context

Chapter 7. Learning Environments

Chapter 8. Spirituality and Young Children

Chapter 9. Guiding Behaviour in an Unequal World

Chapter 10. Working with Diverse Families

Chapter 11. Sustainable Education for Dangerous Times

Chapter 12. Changing the World



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Yarrow Andrew is a lecturer in early childhood education within the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, Australia, having worked previously for fifteen years as a preschool educator.

Jennifer Fane is a lecturer in health education within the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, Australia, after training and working as a primary school teacher in British Columbia, Canada.

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Author - Jennifer  Fane

Jennifer Fane

Faculty Associate, Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Learn more about Jennifer Fane »