Introduction: Understanding children and young people’s lives

Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Cooper, Victoria (2023). Introduction: Understanding children and young people’s lives. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 1–9.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003358855-1

Abstract

What is childhood? How can we understand children and young people’s lives and experiences? Why is childhood and youth experienced differently across communities and countries? How can we support children to develop, grow, and be well? What do they have to teach us? The very notions of what ‘childhood’ and ‘youth’ are may seem utterly obvious – and yet as you will learn, they are really not that obvious at all. This Reader explores Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology, taking a novel interdisciplinary approach that combines insights from both disciplines to illuminate key topics in childhood and youth in a complementary way. This chapter offers a first outline of the topics taught throughout the Reader as well as its key themes: the social and cultural construction of childhood and development; inequities and intersectionalities; and the importance of considering children and young people’s rights, agency, and perspectives.

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