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Kids in Context

The Sociological Study of Children and Childhoods

Sarane Spence Boocock and Kimberly Ann Scott

Kids in Context is a comprehensive overview of the new and rapidly growing field of sociology of children and childhoods. It includes explication of theories and empirical evidence about children's social worlds, from their day-to-day experiences in their homes, neighborhoods and schools to the impact on their lives of political, economic, and social trends at the global level. Alternative perceptions of children and childhood and the implications of children's subordinate social status will be examined. In keeping with the authors' view of children as active participants in society rather than simply as passive recipients of adult care and control, each chapter contains data gathered directly from children, and examples of children's contributions to their families, communities and societies are noted.

In a pair of chapters on family life, the authors examine the mutual effects of kids and parents on each other as well as the implications of changing family structures and modes of child rearing. Other chapters are devoted to the dynamics of children's group life and the creation and dissemination of children's culture, both locally and globally. Variations in childhoods resulting from inequalities of race and ethnicity, social class and gender are compared, with special attention to groups of children who have been marginalized or treated mainly as "social problems." The final chapter contains an assessment of alternative strategies for enhancing children's status and well-being.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 336Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/2
978-0-7425-2024-0 • Hardback • November 2005 • $106.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7425-2025-7 • Paperback • November 2005 • $44.00 • (£29.95)
Sarane Spence Boocock is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University where she taught in the Department of Sociology and the Graduate School of Education. Formerly, she was a research scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, taught at Yale University, University of Southern California, and Johns Hopkins University, and was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Japan and a Visiting Professor and Fromer Memorial Lecturer at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author or co-author of books, book chapters, and articles in scholarly journals on the sociology of education, simulation games as learning devices, historical and sociological trends in family structure and family life, cross-cultural comparisons of childrearing, and the long-term effects of early childhood care and education programs. Her research has been supported by grants from the Carnegie Corporation, ESSO Educational Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Spencer Foundation, Packard Foundation, and the U.S. Office of Education. She is currently engaged in a cross-national project on the educational experiences of minority children in Japan and the United States.

Kimberly Ann Scott is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra University, where she also holds an appointment in the Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Policy Studies. In 2003-2004, she was a Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Children and Childhood Studies. A sociologist of education and childhoods, her research interests include race, class, gender, and sociopolitical climate as intersecting features informing the academic and social developments of children in general and African-American girls in particular. Her publications include papers on children's friendships and play patterns, Latina and African-American girls' school experiences and achievements, African-American girls' access to computers and patterns of interactions in virtual space, rap music as a reflection of socie
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Thinking about Children and Childhoods: Theoretical Perspectives
Chapter 3 Studying Children and Childhoods: Research Methodologies
Chapter 4 Change and Diversity: The Two Constants of Family Life
Chapter 5 Kids at Home: Socialization and the Allocation of Family Resources
Chapter 6 Kids in Groups
Chapter 7 The Two Worlds of School
Chapter 8 Race, Ethnicity and Social Status: The Creation of Social Hierarchies in Childhood
Chapter 9 Becoming Girls and Boys
Chapter 10 The Rapidly Changing External Context of Childhood
Chapter 11 Kid Consumers in a Global Economy
Chapter 12 Toward a World Fit for Children
...a joy to read. The points are well articulated and argued, and the evidence and examples hold the interest of the reader.
Loretta Bass, University of Oklahoma

If you want to know what insights sociologists have about the context, comparison, and change in children's lives in America and across the world, first read Sarane Boocock and Kimberly Scott. They bring the essentials to their work: sharp eyes, warm hearts, systematic minds, and willingness to take the kids' point of view.
Viviana Zelizer, Lloyd Cotsen '50 Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

Boocock and Scott provide a wonderfully engaging and comprehensive view of children and their childhoods. Their book demonstrates convincingly that children are the best sources for understanding childhood. Kids and Context is a major contribution to the sociology of children and youth.
William A. Corsaro, Robert H. Shaffer Professor of Sociology, Indiana University, author of We're Friends, Right?: Inside Kids' Culture

Impressive breadth is matched by straightforward treatments that define the landscape of current research while resisting easy conclusions. Researchers in the field will find this a useful review of the range of work currently being done. Undergraduate and graduate students will profit from the engagement with scholarship, recent and old, and the extensive bibliography. Highly recommended.

This book is a thoughtful, informed and welcome contribution to the sociology of childhood literature base....Each section is comprehensive and underpinned by a wealth of literature and research data....Each chapter in this book is so relevant and engaging in terms of all aspects of children's lives that to identify particular chapters for discussion in terms of merit is almost an impossible task....To summarize this is a sound and useful resource for students, academics and paractitioners alike. The authors clearely convey a passion for children's inclusion in all social agendas, which is sustained throughout the book. The authors have their audience to understand the rapidly changing and complex world children and young people now inhabit.
Sage: British Sociological Association, February 2008

...[an] excellent presentation of qualitative research and theories of childhood.
Anne-Marie Ambert, York University

Contains an extensive bibliography of studies from the various disciplines and fields that have contributed to the sociology of children and childhoods.