Childhood, Society and Children's Rights - SOCI5380

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


In broad terms, the curriculum aims to use historical and cross-cultural material to examine the ways in which childhood can be viewed as 'socially constructed'. This includes a focus on recent changes relating to the effects of social media and the 'digital revolution' on children’ lives. Children’s rights are explored both conceptually, in terms of their theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and their implementation in the UK and internationally. In turn, theorisation of the sociology of childhood and understandings of children’s rights are applied to social issues such as child labour, sexuality and exploitation.
The following is an indicative list of topics:
• Introduction – the Social Construction of Childhood?
• Modernity and the Emergence of Childhood
• Childhood in an Age of Uncertainty
• Theorising Childhood – the dominant framework and the new paradigm
• Childhood, Consumption, Media and Technology
• Perspectives on Children’s Rights
• Securing Children’s Rights
• Children, Work and Child Labour
• Childhood Innocence and Sexual Exploitation


Contact hours

Contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Optional module for
Criminology single and joint honours bachelor degree programmes
Social Policy single and joint honours bachelor degree programmes
Sociology single and joint honours bachelor degree programmes
Health and Social Care BA

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework - essay (3000 words) – 60
Coursework - seminar presentation (15 minutes) – 30%
Coursework - seminar participation -10%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Wyness, M.G. (2015) Childhood. Polity Press, Cambridge
Kehily, M. (ed) (3rd edn. 2015) An Introduction to Childhood Studies. Open University Press, Maidenhead
Kehily, M.J (ed) (2013) Understanding Childhood: a cross-disciplinary approach. Open University Press/Policy Press, Bristol
Qvortrup, J. (2011) The Palgrave Handbook of Childhood Studies. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke
James, A. (2012) Key Concepts in Childhood Studies. Sage, London
Prout, A. (2005) The Future of Childhood: towards the Interdisciplinary Study of Children Routledge, London

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Have a critical understanding of the ways in which childhood is 'socially constructed'
8.2 Articulate competing perspectives on children's rights and apply them to analysis of the national and international frameworks for their
implementation and monitoring
8.3 Demonstrate how the above knowledge helps to understand social problems facing children
8.4 Demonstrate an ability to critically analyse the ways in which policy interventions in children's lives are shaped by and shape concepts of
childhood and children's rights
8.5 Understand the complex relationship between 'universal' concepts of childhood and the lives of children as shaped by social and other

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate skills in presentation and debate
9.2 Critically analyse and utilise research and statistical data
9.3 Synthesise knowledge across a range of disciplinary fields within the social sciences


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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