Anthropological Perspectives on Children and Childhood, 7.5 credits

Anthropological Perspectives on Children and Childhood, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Single subject and programme course


Anette Wickström

Course coordinator

Anette Wickström

Director of studies or equivalent

Mats Andrén
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MCH Child Studies, Master´s Programme 1 (Autumn 2021) 202144-202148 English Linköping C

Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in Child Studies

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen within the humanities, social sciences or the behavioral sciences with a major relevant to the programme. 
    Examples of fields:
    - anthropology
    - education
    - history
    - communication studies
    - media studies
    - language studies
    - psychology
    - social work
    - sociology
    - political sicence
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B)
    (Exemption from Swedish)

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should on an advanced level be able to:
- account for fundamental anthropological concepts and research methods with a focus on children and childhood;
- describe and analyse the ways in which concepts of children and childhood have different implications in different societies;
- apply an anthropological perspective on children’s living conditions and everyday life in the study of one’s own society, as well as others;
- identify and account for methodological and ethical dilemmas in relation to anthropological and ethnographic research.

Course content

The course deals with fundamental anthropological concepts of significance for the study of children’s living conditions and daily life. The course also treats anthropological cross-cultural understanding of what it means to be a child and to grow up, for example in relation to welfare and educational institutions and how understandings of personhood, family, kinship, peer groups, body and gender vary and permeate children’s experiences. Methodological and ethical questions relevant to anthropological and ethnographic studies of children’s living conditions and daily life are treated throughout the course.

Teaching and working methods

Lectures and related discussions take place online on an interactive learning platform. In addition to lectures there are seminars, workshops, and group work online. Between the lectures and the seminars the students independently acquire the course literature, complete individual and group assignments, and communicate with other students online. Examining seminars, workshops and group exercises are compulsory.
The student must have access to e-mail and Internet. The course is presented in various multi-media formats. In order to guarantee a positive learning situation online, and, in order for the student to be able to actively participate in the course and communicate with fellow students and the teacher, it is therefore important that the student have access to the correct hard- and software. Information concerning the specifications of the equipment necessary for the course can be found in the study guide.
Language of instruction: English


The examinations consist of active participation in seminars, workshops and group assignments online, as well as through individual written assignments submitted online. Detailed information about the examinations can be found in the study guide.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it. If the coordinator has instead recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.


Institutionen för Tema
Code Name Scope Grading scale
EXA2 Examination 5.5 credits EC
EXA1 Examination 2 credits U, G


Bolin, Inge, (2006) Growing up in a culture of respect. child rearing in highland Peru. 1st ed. Austin : University of Texas Press, 2006.

ISBN: 029270982X, 0292712987

E-book. Available:

DeWalt, Kathleen M. and DeWalt, Billie R. , (2002) Doing Participant Observation: Becoming an Observer. Chapter 4 in Participant observation; a guide for fieldworkers Lanham: Altamira Press.

Chapter 4 in Participant observation; a guide for fieldworkers.  The chapter will be uploaded in Lisam.

Emerson, Robert M., Fretz, Rachel I. and Shaw, Linda L. , (1995) Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp. 26-35 and 39-42.

The pages will be uploaded in Lisam. 

Estrada, Emir, (2019) Kids at work : Latinx families selling food on the streets of Los Angeles. New York : New York University Press, [2019]

ISBN: 9781479881079, 1479881074, 9781479811519, 1479811513, 9781479873708, 1479873705

E-book. Available:

Hastrup, Kirsten , (2017) The viability of a high arctic hunting community: A historical perspective. Chapter 9 in Brightman, M. & Lewis, J. (Eds.) The Anthropology of Sustainability. Beyond Development and Progress. Beyond Development and Progress. E-book.

Chapter 9

Hendry, Joy, (2016) An introduction to social anthropology : sharing our worlds. Third edition. Basingstoke, Hampshire : Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

ISBN: 9781137431547, 1137431547, 9781137431530

Introduction, chapter 1 and 2, pp. 1-45. Other editions may work as well and the book is often for sale on second hand sites.

LeVine, Robert Alan, New, Rebecca Staples, (2008) Anthropology and child development : a cross-cultural reader. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2008. Pp. 1-7 and 11-16.

ISBN: 0631229760, 9780631229766, 0631229752, 9780631229759

The chapter will be uploaded in Lisam.

Montgomery, Heather , (2008) An Introduction to Childhood. Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Chapter 5, Montgomery, Heather: Talking, playing, and working,  E-book. Available

Panelli, Ruth, Punch, Samantha, Robson, Elsbeth, (2007) Global perspectives on rural childhood and youth : young rural lives. New York : Routledge, c2007.

ISBN: 9780415397032

Klocker, Natascha, An example of ‘thin’ agency; Child domestic workers in Tanzania. The chapter will be uploaded on Lisam.

Sparrman, Anna, Sandin, Bengt, Sjöberg, Johanna, (2012) Situating child consumption : rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption. Lund : Nordic Academic Press, 2012

ISBN: 9789185509706

Samuelsson, Tobias, Not All About the Money: Children, Work, and Consumption. Pp. 81-96. The chapter will be uploaded in Lisam.

Sweis, Rania Kassab, (2021) Paradoxes of care : children and global medical aid in Egypt. Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 2021

ISBN: 9781503628649, 9781503628632

E-book. Available:


Gallagher, Michael, Haywood, Sarah L., Jones, Manon W., Milne, Sue, Negotiating Informed Consent with Children in School-Based Research: A Critical Review. Children & Society Nov2010, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p471-482. 12p.
Twum-Danso Imoh, Afua, From the singular to the plural: Exploring diversities in contemporary childhoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Childhood (CHILDHOOD), Aug2016; 23(3): 455-468. (14p)
Warming, Hanne, Getting under their skins? Accessing young children’s perspectives through ethnographic fieldwork. Childhood (CHILDHOOD), Feb2011; 18(1): 39-53. (15p)

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