ABSTRACT

The construction of childhood studies around a dichotomous opposition of culture and nature was the central theme of Chapter 2. In this chapter I will critically review the sociological turn that childhood studies have taken over the last period. I will consider the problems that this has created, and suggest some new themes and directions that I believe will take the field forward. The central problem I will discuss is familiar from the last chapter. It is that the construction of a place for childhood within sociology was accomplished in terms that reproduce the oppositional dichotomies around which modernist sociology turns. These include the opposition of nature and culture but in this chapter I will also point to the issues of structure and agency, the individual and society, and being and becoming. The key point I will develop is that childhood studies need to move beyond these dichotomies and deploy non-dualistic analytical resources.