chapter  3
Children and childhood
Viewed through different disciplinary lenses
ByHazel Wright
Pages 13

This chapter offers an overview of the specific disciplinary knowledge that contributed to and/or develops out of these differing overarching frameworks from the standpoint that all three played, and play, a vital role in understanding childhood and promoting children's welfare. This discussion of childhood takes Britain's Victorian era as a starting point. This period was a time of considerable technological invention and scientific discovery, in Britain and elsewhere: a time of classification and categorization to contain our growing knowledge of living things. Alongside this early psychological interest in collective data about children, the sub-discipline of psychoanalysis established interest in individual childhood experiences. 'Constructs' continue to offer multiple lenses through which to view childhood, and a number of new typologies have been devised since the turn of the century that reflect societal change. The chapter discusses the psychological perspectives, sociological perspectives, constructionist perspectives, and rights-based perspectives.