The idea of children's agency is central to the growing field of childhood studies. In this book David Oswell argues for new understandings of children's agency. He traces the transformation of children and childhood across the nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and explores the dramatic changes in recent years to children's everyday lives as a consequence of new networked, mobile technologies and new forms of globalisation. The author reviews existing theories of children's agency as well as providing the theoretical tools for thinking of children's agency as spatially, temporally and materially complex. With this in mind, he surveys the main issues in childhood studies, with chapters covering family, schooling, crime, health, consumer culture, work and human rights. This is a comprehensive text intended for students and academic researchers across the humanities and social sciences interested in the study of children and childhood.
David Oswell is Reader in Sociology and Director of Postgraduate Research in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Television, Childhood and the Home: A History of the Making of the Child Television Audience in Britain (2002), Culture and Society (2006), Cultural Theory: Volumes 1-4 (2010) and various articles in academic journals and edited collections.
Part I. Introduction: 1. Introduction; 2. Agency after Aries: sentiments, natures and spaces; Part II. Social Theories of Children and Childhood: 3. Modern social theories: agency and structure; 4. Partial and situated agency; 5. Subjectivity, experience and post-social assemblages; Part III. Spaces of Experience, Experimentation and Power: 6. Family and household; 7. School and education; 8. Crime and criminality; 9. Health and medicine; 10. Play and consumer culture; 11. Political economies of labour; 12. Rights and political participation; Part IV. Conclusions: 13. Conclusions.