Edited by Barry Goldson, Michael Lavalette and Jim McKechnie.
Some books are route maps and others aerial photographs. This
falls into the latter category and is aimed at undergraduates
looking at childhood and youth studies. The authors have brought
together a number of academics to scrutinise children – and indeed
childhood – from sociological, psychological and historical
It is not therefore a book to navigate around, say, Sure Start,
performance indicators for children’s services or the possible
contents of the proposed green paper on children at risk. Rather,
the reader discovers more on the New Right agenda for children or
what is described as New Labour’s “neo-liberal policies”.
As well as looking at the construction of childhood, there are
chapters on poverty, children and education (and the inequalities
of the present school system), children who work and crime and
childhood. A chapter on child abuse and child protection provides a
helpful historical view, beginning with neglect and, by way of
physical and sexual abuse, looking at some of the work developed by
Barnardo’s on children abused through prostitution.
There is plenty of scope to get a bird’s eye view of the terrain
before reaching for the map.
Chris Hanvey is UK director of operations,