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The University of Southampton

SOCI3086 Children and Society

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce you to some of the key concepts and debates surrounding children and childhood. It will provide you an opportunity to develop an analytical and critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks, research, policy and practice approaches relating to children. It will explore the nature of childhood and children’s lives in a variety of contexts and the impact of social, economic, political and cultural processes on children and their wellbeing.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to introduce you to some of the key theoretical frameworks and concepts in childhood studies, the international debates concerning children and childhood, and the complexity of children’s lives in a global context.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different theoretical frameworks in understanding children and childhood
  • Critically compare and contrast different perspectives in relation to children and childhood.
  • Apply different conceptual approaches to understand the position of children.
  • Critically evaluate policy and practices relating to children.
  • Develop the transferrable and generic skills of critical thinking, essay writing, team working, and presentation.


This module will provide an introduction to the key theoretical frameworks and concepts in understanding children and childhood and the application of different approaches in policy-making. The module will also examine contemporary issues related to children, such as children and migration, child labour, child abduction and trafficking in terms of understandings of children and childhood. The lectures will be organized in four blocks: 1) Theorising childhood: the first block of the module will provide an overview of the key theoretical frameworks and concepts used to study children and childhood. 2) Contemporary debates: this block of the module will focus on contemporary issues and current debates on childhood studies. Topics will include: child labour, child abduction and trafficking, children and migration, etc. 3) Policy and practices: this block will examine the impact and consequences of some of the policy and practices concerning children i.e. children and work; child abuse; 4) Researching children: this block will introduce some of the cutting edge research on children and research ethics.

Special Features

1. an emphasis on group work and collaboration 2. choice of assessments to suit the strengths of each individual student

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture, seminar, group work, presentation, research project

Independent Study124
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Prout A (2005). The Future of Childhood. 

Qvortrup J (2011). The Palgrave Handbook of Childhook Studies. 

Woodhead M & Montgomery H (2003). Understanding Childhood. 

James A & James A (2008). Key Concepts in Childhood Studies. 

Wyness, M (2012). Childhood and Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Childhood. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Choice of group research project or an individual essay  () 70%
Group presentation  (10 minutes) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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