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.
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