ABSTRACT

Childhood studies are related to the ways in which childhood is represented or socially constructed. Representations of childhood are common in a range of fields and materials including history, autobiography, sociology, psychology, children’s books, studies of educational practice, and media analysis. The multi-disciplinary and eclectic attribution of childhood studies is both its strength and weakness. Its strength is due to its ability to make fascinating and unexpected connections between disparate fields (like autobiography and social history, studies of play and children’s fantasy, cognitive psychology and book illustration, book illustration and children’s art, quality fiction and television soaps, computer games and moral development). On the other hand, this attribution may cause a struggle to convince practitioners of these disciplines that the insights of research can be reached in any other way than by being eclectic.