Anthropological Perspectives on Children and Childhood, 7.5 credits

Antropologiska perspektiv på barn och barndom, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Mats Andrén

Course coordinator

Olga Anatoli Smith

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 2022) 202244-202248 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 science
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (Engelska 6)
    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

The teaching in this course is carried out online and consists of lectures, seminars and group work. In addition, the student will engage in independent studies.

Language of instruction and examination: English.


Examinations in the course consist of:

• individual written assignment, grading scale: UG
• individual written assignment, grading scale: EC

A passing grade (E) in the course requires grade E in the individual written assignment as well as a passing grade in all other examinations in the course. Higher grades are based on the individual written assignment.

More detailed information is available in the study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

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 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.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

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.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


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


Brightman, Marc, Lewis, Jerome, (2017) The Anthropology of Sustainability : Beyond Development and Progress. New York : Palgrave Macmillan US : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

ISBN: 9781137566362, 9781137566355

Chapter 9 Hastrup, Kirsten (2017) The viability of a high arctic hunting community: A historical perspective.

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.

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

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, (2011) An Introduction to Childhood. Anthropological Perspectives on Children's Lives. 1st ed. Chicester : Wiley, 2011

ISBN: 9781444358254, 9781405125901

Chapter 5 Talking, playing, and working

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 (2007) 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

The chapter will be uploaded in Lisam. Samuelsson, Tobias (2012) Not All About the Money: Children, Work, and Consumption.

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

ISBN: 9781503628649, 9781503628632

Ulturgasheva, Olga, (2012) Narrating the future in Siberia : childhood, adolescence and autobiography among young Eveny. New York : Berghahn Books, 2012.

ISBN: 0857457667, 9780857457660, 9780857457677,uid&db=cat00115a&AN=lkp.950672&lang=sv&site=eds-live&scope=site.


Gallagher, Michael, Haywood, Sarah L., Jones, Manon W., Milne, Sue, Negotiating Informed Consent with Children in School-Based Research: A Critical Review. Children & Society Nov 2010, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p 471-482.
Twum-Danso Imoh, A., From the singular to the plural: Exploring diversities in contemporary childhoods in sub-Saharan Africa Childhood (Childhood, 1 August 2016, 23(3):455-468)
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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