Global childhoods

Twum-Danso Imoh, Afua and Montgomery, Heather (2023). Global childhoods. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 154–169.



This chapter will discuss how and why the idea of a global childhood has become such an important part of contemporary Childhood and Youth Studies. It will examine how contemporary ideas about childhood as a separate and protected space and stage of life came into being, how these ideas have developed and travelled across the world, and how they have been incorporated into the idea of a universal global child, looked after by the ‘international community’. This process has been contested, however, and the chapter will go on to discuss how these ideas are resisted by parents, communities, and psychologists from the global South, who have emphasised the need for greater understandings of their children’s different capabilities and expectations over their roles. The chapter ends with an examination of the field of local psychology which has applied local ideas and cultural values to studies of human development.

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