Cover image for The sociology of childhood
The sociology of childhood
Corsaro, William A.
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : SAGE, [2015]
Physical Description:
xv, 439 pages : illustrations; 22 cm
1.Social Theories of Childhood -- 2.The Structure of Childhood and Children's Interpretive Reproductions -- 3.Studying Children and Childhood -- 4.Historical Views of Childhood and Children -- 5.Social Change, Families, and Children -- 6.Children's Peer Cultures and Interpretive Reproduction -- 7.Sharing and Control in Initial Peer Cultures -- 8.Conflict and Differentiation in the Initial Peer Culture -- 9.Preadolescent Peer Cultures -- 10.Children, Social Problems, and the Family -- 11. Children, Social Problems, and Society -- 12.The Future of Childhood
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ767.9 .C675 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Acclaimed as the best book on the sociology of children, this is the only textbook that thoroughly covers children and childhood from a sociological pespective. It includes updated coverage of peer relations, friendship, children and electronic media, and the social problems experienced by children, and there are new sections on immigrant children, changing perspectives of American families, and the problem of aggression and bullying among children and youth. Throughout the book, the author′s original research and the compelling photographs and vivid illustrations bring the topics to life.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
About the Authorp. xv
Part 1 The Sociological Study of Childhoodp. 1
1 Social Theories of Childhoodp. 5
Sociology's Rediscovery of Childhoodp. 5
Traditional Theories: Socializationp. 7
The Deterministic Model: Society Appropriates the Childp. 7
The Constructivist Model: The Child Appropriates Societyp. 10
Understanding of Conservation of Massp. 12
Interpretive Reproduction: Children Collectively Participate in Societyp. 18
From Individual Progression to Collective Reproductionsp. 23
The Orb Web Modelp. 24
Children's Two Culturesp. 26
Summaryp. 27
2 The Structure of Childhood and Children's Interpretive Reproductionsp. 29
Assumptions of the Structural Perspectivep. 30
Childhood as a Structural Formp. 30
Effects of Societal Forces on Childhoodp. 31
Children's Activities and Contributions to Societyp. 33
Childhood, Children's Activities, and Interpretive Reproduction in Peer Culturep. 40
Three Kinds of Collective Actionp. 41
Summaryp. 43
3 Studying Children and Childhoodp. 45
Macrolevel Methodsp. 46
Demographic Studiesp. 46
Large-Scale Surveysp. 47
Historical Methodsp. 49
Microlevel Methodsp. 49
Individual and Group Interviewsp. 50
Ethnography and Socio linguistic Analysisp. 51
Nontraditional Methods in Studying Childrenp. 55
Ethical Issues in Researching Children's Livesp. 59
Summaryp. 60
Part 2 Children, Childhood, and Families in Historical and Cultural Contextp. 63
4 Historical Views of Childhood and Childrenp. 65
Philippe Ariès's Centuries of Childhoodp. 66
The Debate Regarding Grand-Stage Theories of the Family and Childhoodp. 68
The New History of Childhoodp. 71
Barbara Hanawalt's Growing Up in Medieval Londonp. 73
Slave Children in the Pre-Civil War Southp. 76
American Pioneer and Immigrant Children at the Turn of the 20th Centuryp. 79
Summaryp. 85
5 Social Change, Families, and Childrenp. 87
Examining Changes in Families From the Children's Perspectivep. 87
Children's Everyday Lives in Familiesp. 89
Studies of Families in Western Societiesp. 89
Studies of Families in Non-Western Societiesp. 95
The Effects of Recent Socioeconomic Changes on Families, Children, and Childhood in Western Societiesp. 99
The Rapid Decline of Two-Parent Farm Families and Rise of Father Worker-Mother Homemaker Familiesp. 99
The Decline in Family Sizep. 101
The Rise in Mothers' Labor Force Participationp. 101
The Rise in Single-Parent Familiesp. 105
Changing Perspectives of the American Familyp. 106
Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the Population of Children and Youthp. 109
The Lives of Immigrant Childrenp. 110
The Effects of Recent Socioeconomic Changes on Children and Childhood in Developing Societiesp. 114
Summaryp. 116
Part 3 Children's Culturesp. 119
6 Children's Peer Cultures and Interpretive Reproductionp. 121
Examining Peer Culture From Children's Perspectivep. 121
Central Importance of Peer Culture in Interpretive Reproductionp. 122
Parental Versus Peer Effects on Children's Developmentp. 123
Children's Transition to Initial Peer Culturesp. 123
Symbolic Aspects of Children's Culturesp. 127
The Mediap. 128
Literature and Fairy Talesp. 131
Mythical Figures and Legendsp. 133
Material Aspects of Children's Culturesp. 139
Historical Studies of Children's Material Culturep. 141
Marketing Studies of Children's Material Culturep. 142
Children, Parents, and Consumer Culturep. 145
Summaryp. 148
7 Sharing and Control in Initial Peer Culturesp. 151
Central Themes in Children's Initial Peer Culturesp. 152
Friendship, Sharing, and Social Participationp. 154
Play Routines Among Toddlersp. 154
The Protection of Interactive Space and Children's Early Friendshipsp. 158
Language, Sharing Routines, and Ritualsp. 163
Autonomy and Control in Peer Culturep. 167
Sociodramatic Role-Playp. 167
Challenging Adult Authorityp. 175
Confronting Confusions, Fears, and Conflicts in Fantasy Playp. 179
Summaryp. 185
8 Conflict and Differentiation in the Initial Peer Culturep. 189
Conflict and Peer Relationsp. 189
Discussion, Debate, and Peace in Italian Preschoolsp. 190
Oppositional Talk in a Head Start Centerp. 193
Conflict and Friendship in an American Upper-Middle-Class Preschoolp. 197
The Contextual Nature of Conflict and Communityp. 199
Social Differentiation in Initial Peer Culturesp. 199
Gender Differentiationp. 199
Race and Race Differentiationp. 207
Status Differentiationp. 208
Summaryp. 215
9 Preadolescent Peer Culturesp. 217
Peer Cultures in Preadolescencep. 218
Friendship Processes in Preadolescent Peer Culturesp. 218
Social Participation and Friendshipsp. 219
Social Differentiation and Friendshipsp. 220
Social Differentiation, Friendships, Gender, Race, and Ethnicityp. 221
Autonomy and Identity in Preadolescent Peer Culturesp. 227
Verbal Routines, Games, and Heterosexual Relationsp. 227
Disputes, Conflict, Friendships, and Genderp. 237
Verbal Disputes and Conflict in Peer Relationsp. 237
Borderwork in Cross-Gender Relationsp. 242
Challenging Adult Authority and Normsp. 246
Generation M: Electronic Media in the Lives of Preadolescents and Adolescentsp. 247
Patterns in Media Usep. 247
Effects and Process of Media Use in the Lives of Preadolescents and Adolescentsp. 252
Summaryp. 262
Part 4 Children, Social Problems, and the Future of Childhoodp. 267
10 Children, Social Problems, and the Familyp. 271
Changing Family Structures and Children's Livesp. 271
Work, Families, and Childhoodp. 272
Working Mothers and Young Childrenp. 272
Social Policy Regarding Maternity and Family Leavep. 274
Social Policy Regarding Child Care and Early Childhood Educationp. 275
Divorce and Its Effects on Childrenp. 278
Patterns in Divorce and Economic Consequences for Women and Childrenp. 278
Social and Psychological Effects of Divorce on Childrenp. 282
Child Abuse in the Familyp. 288
Summaryp. 294
11 Children, Social Problems, and Societyp. 297
Poverty and the Quality of Children's Livesp. 297
Problems and Progress in Developing Countriesp. 297
Poverty and Child Labor in Developing Countriesp. 303
Child Poverty in Industrialized Countriesp. 306
Variations in Child Poverty and Quality of Life in Industrialized Countriesp. 311
The Human Faces of Poverty: The Story of Nicholasp. 314
Teen Pregnancy and Nonmarital Birthsp. 317
The Rise in Teen Nonmarital Birthsp. 317
Possible Causes of Trends in Teen Nonmarital Birthsp. 321
Consequences for Teen Parents and Their Childrenp. 327
Violence, Victimization, and the Loss of Childhoodp. 329
Summaryp. 339
12 The Future of Childhoodp. 341
The Major Challengesp. 344
Confronting Child Poverty in the United Statesp. 344
Combating Child Poverty in Developing Countriesp. 350
Some More Modest Proposals to Enrich Children's Livesp. 352
Enhancing the Lives of Families and Childrenp. 352
Supporting Families and Children at Riskp. 359
Acting Right Nowp. 366
Conclusionp. 367
Glossaryp. 369
Referencesp. 375
Indexp. 419