Childhood StudiesMaking Young Subjects
Childhood Studies
Making Young Subjects
What does it mean to think of children as social subjects and how should we go about studying childhood in society? Childhood is a key site where children come to understand themselves as particular kinds of people, not only as individuals but also as members of social and cultural groups. This compelling and accessible book explores how immature humans enter into political, economic, social and cultural life.

Integrating key theories from a range of disciplines, Karen Wells provides a set of analytical tools to explore how culture, society, politics and economics shape childhood and children's lives. She explains how childhood is not only culturally shaped, but also formed at the intersection of politics and economics. At this intersection between governing practices and the affordances of children's bodies, young subjects are made.

<i>Childhood Studies</i> will be essential reading for students and scholars in childhood and youth studies and related disciplines, and for anyone who wants to understand the impacts of social inequality on children and what it means to be a child in the contemporary world.
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  • November 2017
  • 216 pages
  • 158 x 232 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745670232
  • Paperback $26.00
  • 9780745670249
  • Open eBook $20.99
  • 9781509525355
Table of Contents
  • 1 Making young subjects
  • 2 The disciplines
  • 3 Governing through race, governing through childhood
  • 4 Policing gender
  • 5 Class discrimination in childhood
  • 6 Disability in Childhood Studies
  • 7 Children’s bodies matter
  • 8 Development psychology and Social Identity Theory
  • 9 Consuming childhoods
  • 10 Conclusion
  • Bibliography
About the Author
Karen Wells is Reader in International Development and Childhood Studies and Programme Director for Children, Youth and International Development at Birkbeck, University of London. She is author of Childhood in a Global Perspective (2nd edition).
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"Wells offers an interesting, astute and highly accessible analysis of the interconnections between liberalism, racism and the creation of the child subject. Her work compels Childhood Studies to become more self-critical."
Sarada Balagopalan, Rutgers University

"This original and provocative book has the potential to shift several key paradigms within Childhood Studies and set the agenda for future debates. Focusing on the interplay between the biological and the social, the book offers new and challenging ways of theorizing childhoods."
Heather Montgomery, The Open University
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