Outlining sociology's distinctive contribution to childhood studies and our understanding of contemporary children and childhood, The Sociology of Children, Childhood and Generation provides a thought provoking and comprehensive account of the connections between the macro worlds of childhood and the micro worlds of children's everyday lives.
Examining children's involvement in areas such as the labour market, family life, education, play and leisure, the book provides an effective balance between understanding childhood as a structural phenomenon, and recognising children as meaning makers actively involved in constructing, co-constructing and reconstructing their everyday lives.
Through the concept of 'generagency' Madeleine Leonard offers a model for examining and illuminating how structure and agency are activated within interdependent relationships influenced by generational positioning. This framework provides a conceptual tool for thinking about the continuities, challenges and changes that impact on how childhood is lived and experienced.
Madeleine Leonard is a Professor of Sociology at Queen's University Belfast. Her main research interest is in teenagers' experiences of growing up in politically sensitive societies, and she has carried out research into the perceptions and experiences of Catholic and Protestant teenagers living in interface areas in North Belfast. She has recently extended this research interest to Cyprus where she has carried out research on Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teenagers' attitudes and experiences of growing up in the divided city of Nicosia. She has recently completed research (2010) on teenagers' perceptions and experiences of Belfast as a `shared city' as part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project `Conflict in Cities and the Contested State'. She has used a range of research methodologies including writing exercises, maps, photo-elicitation, focus-group interviews and walk-along interviews.
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Becoming and Being - Developments in the Sociology of Childhood Chapter 3: Macro Childhoods - Prioritising Structure Chapter 4: Micro Childhoods - Prioritising Agency Chapter 5: From Rights to Citizenship - Transformations and Constraints Chapter 6: Bridging Structure and Agency - Bringing in Inter-generagency and Intra-generagency Chapter 7: Conclusion - Blurred Boundaries