Sociological Perspectives on Children and Childhood, 7.5 credits

Sociologiska perspektiv på barn och barndom, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Yelyzaveta Hrechaniuk

Course coordinator

Yelyzaveta Hrechaniuk

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) 202249-202303 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 theoretical and methodological perspectives and concepts within childhood sociology
  • describe how the field of childhood sociology has changed over time
  • account for how children use and are formed by societal norms, structures and material aspects in everyday life
  • analyze central concepts relevant for understanding children and childhood

Course content

The course deals with theory and methods of the research file of childhood sociology. A central part of the course is the relationship between the children’s agency and societal structures. Furthermore, the course treats the way in which central concepts are defined; for example, children, the child perspective, children’s perspectives, age and generation. Research on children’s everyday life, conditions and relationships are also covered, as well as how these aspects take form and develop in relation to age, peer groups and how they depend on gender, class, ethnicity, etc. 
School, leisure time and peer groups are areas that will be emphasized in 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: EC

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
EXAM Examination 7.5 credits EC

Regulary literature


Änggård, Eva, (2006) “Barbie princesses and dinosaur dragons: narration as a way of doing gender”. Gender and Education, 17(5): 539-553.
Bühler-Niederberger, Doris, (2010) “Childhood Sociology in Ten Countries: Current Outcomes and Future Directions” Current Sociology, 58(2), 369-384.
Esser, Florian, Baader, Meike S, Betz, Tanja, Hungerland, Beatrice., (2011) ”Reconceptualising agency and childhood. An introduction. London: Routledge.

An introduction. In, Esser, Florian. (Ed.), Baader, Meike S. (Ed.), Betz, Tanja. (Ed.), Hungerland, Beatrice. (Ed.). Reconceptualising Agency and Childhood. London: Routledge. E-book.

Halldén, Gunilla , (2003) “Barnperspektiv som ideologiskt eller metodologiskt begrepp”. Pedagogisk forskning, 8(1-2), 12-23.

Translation in English will be available.

James, Allison, (2009) "Agency". Palgrave MacMillan

In, Qvortrup, Jens, Corsaro, William, & Honig Michael- Sebastian (Eds.) The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies. E-book.

James, Allison & James, Adrian, ((2012 or more recent editions)) Key concepts in childhood studies. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Key book for the course, please buy this books as soon as possible!

James, Allison & Prout, Alan, (1997) Constructing and reconstructing childhood: contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood London: Falmer Press, Preface to second edition, introduction and Ch 1 (p. ix – 34).



Jenks, Chris, (1996) Childhood. New York: Routledge. Ch 1


Kehily, Mary Jane (Ed.), (2013) Understanding Childhood: a cross-disciplinary approach. London: The Policy Press. (978-1-447-30580-4). Skim Chapter 5 as a point of departure.
Komulainen, Sirkka, (2007) “The ambiguity of the child’s ‘voice’ in social research”. Childhood, 14(1): 11-28
Lange, Anderas & Mierendorff, Johanna, (2009) "Method and methodology in childhood research". Palgrave MacMillan.

In, Qvortrup, Jens, Corsaro, William, and Honig Michael-Sebastian (Eds.) The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies. E-book. 


Prout, Alan, (2005) The future of childhood: Towards the interdisciplinary study of children. London: Routledge Falmer. Parts of ch 3, p 59-75.

 The pages will be uploaded in Lisam.

Rautio, Pauliina, (2013) “Children who carry stones in their pockets: on autotelic material practices in everyday life”. Childhood, 11(4): 394-408.
Sparrman, Anna, (2020) “Through the looking-glass: Alice and Child Studies Multiple” Childhood, 27 (1): 8-24.
Spyrou, Spyros, (2011) “The limits of children’s voices: From authenticity to critical, reflexive representation”. Childhood, 18(2): 151-165


Complete bibliography can be found in Lisam's course room

Additional literature


Esser, Florian. (Ed.), Baader, Meike S. (Ed.), Betz, Tanja. (Ed.), Hungerland, Beatrice. (Ed.)., (2016) Reconceptualising Agency and Childhood. London: Routledge.


Smith, Carmel & Greene, Sheila, (2014) Key thinkers in childhood studies. Policy Press.


Spyrou, Spyros, (2019) ”An Ontological Turn for Childhood Studies?”. Children&Society, 33: 316-323

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