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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC1205 What is a Child: Social Construction of Childhood

20 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Anne Luke

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides you with an introduction to sociological and anthropological theories of childhood, including historical dimensions and cross cultural perspectives. Key theories which have been influential will be described and evaluated. The teaching will involve lectures, seminars and a fieldtrip.


It aims to:
- Introduce the concept of 'what is a child', drawing upon sociological and anthropological perspectives
- Examine the emergence of the 'Sociology of Childhood' as a theoretical discipline
- Examine the concept of childhood as a social construction
- Introduce historical and cross cultural perspectives of childhood and youth and recent academic enquiry related to generational relations and life course
- Introduce methodological developments in research with children and young people

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and empirical studies from within the fields of sociology, education, and anthropology in order to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic concepts, paradigms, practices related to childhood and youth.
- Demonstrate the ability to interpret and evaluate the basic concepts, principles and values which are characteristic of study of childhood and youth
- Present a structured and coherent argument related to the social construction of childhood and youth.


Sociological and anthropological perspectives on childhood
The social construction of childhood and the New Social Studies of Childhood
Historical perspectives on childhood
Childhood and modernity
Childhood in crisis
Children and work
Children in the minority and majority worlds
Contemporary themes and new directions in the social study of childhood

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to do specified reading in preparation for the seminars. They will also be expected to access documentary evidence.

They will also be expected to undertake private study in order to complete the assignments. Resources and activities will be available via the Virtual Learning Environment.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative assessment is conducted via practical tasks set in the weekly sessions. Discussion activities will take place each week to enable students to ask questions, clarify issues, and to enable the tutor to monitor student progress. Designated assignment support will be provided using lectures and workshops in weeks 4 and 9. Additional assignment support will be provided via tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/05/2023


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