CFP – Special Issue of Social Sciences: Childhood and Society

Special Issue of Social Sciences: “Childhood and Society”
Guest Editor: Prof. Michael Wyness
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

The “social” turn in childhood studies in the late 20th century has challenged a powerful orthodoxy within the social science, moving our understanding of childhood away from narrowed schooled and developmental models towards more diverse and globalised conceptions. Moreover, the rights agenda, the international focus on the exploitation of children and the recurring concerns of global child poverty have generated a more globalised frame within which we can make sense of children’s lives. This is a multi-faceted often contradictory field of study. Issues of protection elide with a global agenda of entitlements. At the same time, political concerns for children’s wellbeing have to compete with conceptions of childhood and practices with children that highlight their social agency. The structure/agency antinomy is a recurring theme within the social studies of childhood.

A second and associated theme within the field is the shift from a modernist 20th century version of childhood towards a post-modern 21st conception of childhood. Research identifies important continuities between the two conceptions. There is also a developing body of work that explores more nuanced differences between the two: the subtle move from a dependent and “becoming” status towards an emphasis on social agency and legal and institutional independence. Arguably, now there is greater recognition children’s important and sometimes vital social and economic contributions.

A third cluster of ideas on the social nature of childhood is the heightened significance of generational relations. Generation has a greater theoretical importance now in studies of children and childhood. While it does not compete with grand narratives on social class and gender, analyses of social differentiation and inequality have been refined by work that explores the contemporary nature of relations between adults and children. At the same time, the contemporary importance of generational relations is also a reflection of greater adult fears and anxieties over children’s welfare. Social studies of childhood have responded to these claims through analyses of the ways that children in concert with adults refine as well as challenge generational relations.

In this Special Issue, we invite empirical and theoretical papers that engage with these contemporary research themes. Childhood is fundamentally a multi-disciplinary field of study. We welcome submissions from sociology, anthropology, politics, policy studies, criminology and technology. More specifically, these broad themes may be articulated through the following focal points and questions:

  • Continuity and change between 20th and 21st century conceptions of childhood
  • Contemporary conceptions of childhood innocence
  • Is there a global childhood?
  • Family structures and inter-generational relations: theoretical and empirical work on children’s changing social relations
  • Marginalised children: when does deviance become agency?
  • Generational relations and inequalities
  • Childhood and digital peer relations
  • Are children’s voices currently being heard?

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging into this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.