Published in 1996, this book advocates and persuasively exemplifies a qualitative sociology of childhood, spoken repeatedly through children’s voices.

After a long period of dormancy, interest in the sociology of childhood became a focus of attention and scholarly interest. Developments in practice by professionals working and learning in the fields of welfare, education, and youth and community studies have been paralleled by the emergence of specialist courses within sociology degrees. Yet the challenges raised by the sociology of childhood remain marginalised within the social sciences more generally.

A Case of Neglect? provides an accessible reader and review of the field. Heard wherever possible through children’s and young people’s voices, it provides a penetrating insight into their understandings and experiences of their own and adults’ worlds. It also provides a readable and absorbing review of qualitative applications in the sociology of childhood, and a counter to the common reliance on evidence derived from quantitative approaches.

The fieldwork applications range across the often hidden worlds of children’s and young people’s involvement in prostitution, their experience of abuse, black children’s experiences of social services, children’s school cultures, naturist children and childlessness.

Always arresting and sometimes poignant, A Case of Neglect? works towards a sociology which is both of and for childhood.

This book was originally published as part of the Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research series edited by Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont and Amanda Coffey. The series publishes original sociological research that reflects the tradition of qualitative and ethnographic inquiry developed at Cardiff. The series includes monographs reporting on empirical research, edited collections focussing on particular themes, and texts discussing methodological developments and issues.

chapter 1|18 pages

Children and the sociology of childhood

ByIan Butler

chapter 4|12 pages

I don’t eat peas anyway! Classroom stories and the social construction of childhood

ByLesley Pugsley, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont

chapter 5|17 pages

Growing up respectable

ByOdette Parry

chapter 6|22 pages

‘Safe’? Involving children in child protection

ByIan Butler, Howard Williamson

chapter 7|18 pages

Whose life is it anyway?

ByAnne Crowley

chapter 8|17 pages

Accounting for ‘child prostitution’

ByAnne Crowley, Gera Patel

chapter 10|19 pages

So much for ‘participation’: Youth work and young people

ByHoward Williamson