1st Edition

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Childhood in Contemporary Britain Literature, Media and Society

Edited By Sandra Dinter, Ralf Schneider Copyright 2018
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the light of the complex demographic shifts associated with late modernity and the impetus of neo-liberal politics, childhood continues all the more to operate as a repository for the articulation of diverse social and cultural anxieties. Since the Thatcher years, juvenile delinquency, child poverty, and protection have been persistent issues in public discourse. Simultaneously, childhood has advanced as a popular subject in the arts, as the wealth of current films and novels in this field indicates. Focusing on the late twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries, this collection assembles contributions concerned with current political, social, and cultural dimensions of childhood in the United Kingdom. The individual chapters, written by internationally renowned experts from the social sciences and the humanities, address a broad spectrum of contemporary childhood issues, including debates on child protection, school dress codes, the media, the representation and construction of children in audiovisual media, and literary awards for children’s fiction. Appealing to a wide scholarly audience by joining perspectives from various disciplines, including art history, education, law, film and TV studies, sociology, and literary studies, this volume endorses a transdisciplinary and meta-theoretical approach to the study of childhood. It seeks to both illustrate and dismantle the various ways in which childhood has been implicitly and explicitly conceived in different disciplines in the wake of the constructivist paradigm shift in childhood studies.

    Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    Approaching Childhood in Contemporary Britain: Introduction

    Sandra Dinter and Ralf Schneider

    Section I: Childhood in Contemporary British Literature and Literary Criticism

    1 Writing Plural Childhoods – Some Thoughts Concerning the Recent Carnegie Medal Shortlists

    Anja Müller

    2 The Adult Within the Literary Child: Reading Toby Litt’s deadkidsongs as an Anti-Bildungsroman

    Katharina Pietsch and Tyll Zybura

    3 The Child Narrator in Contemporary British Fiction and Literary Criticism: The Case of Stephen Kelman’s Pigeon English

    Sandra Dinter

    4 Children’s Literature, Cognitivism and Neuroscience

    Karín Lesnik-Oberstein


    Section II: Medial and Visual Constructions of Childhood in Contemporary Britain

    5 Children’s Television and Public Service in Contemporary Britain

    Jonathan Bignell

    6 An Inconvenient Growth: Watching Child Actors, Growing Up, Sideways and Backwards in Contemporary British Film and Television

    Karen Lury

    7 Adults Looking at Children: Books, Bodies and Buying in Children’s Book Covers

    Jessica Medhurst

    8 Reflections on British and American Images of and for Children

    Ellen Handler Spitz


    Section III: Historical and Social Dimensions of Childhood in Contemporary Britain

    9 Childcare for the Under-Fives in Post-1945 England: Contemporary Reflections on Past Childhoods

    Angela Davis

    10 Contingent Connections: Between German and British Childhoods – Marion Daltrop

    Erica Burman


    Section IV: Contemporary British Childhoods between Rights and Regulations

    11 The Politics of Child Protectio


    Sandra Dinter is a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in British Literature and Culture at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.

    Ralf Schneider is Professor of British Literature and Culture at Bielefeld University, Germany.