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The Sociology of Childhood

Child Rights

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About this Lecture

In this module, we think about child rights and the emergence of a 'child rights regime' at the international level, focusing in particular on: (i) the increased visibility of childhood poverty in 19th-century Britain, and the steps taken by the government to combat it; (ii) the gradual erosion in this period of the idea that children were the responsibility of the family alone, and the extension of the right of the state to enter into family life in cases of severe negligence; (iii) the extent to which the protection of child rights was driven in the first instance by philanthropists, e.g. Thomas John Barnardo, rather than the state; (iv) the extent to which the protection of child rights in Britain did not extend to Britain's overseas territories and other colonial possessions; and (v) the emergence of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989, and the two reasons why it has had such a big impact in the last thirty years.

About this Course

In this course, Professor Karen Wells (Birkbeck, University of London) explores the sociology of childhood. In the first module, we think about the idea is childhood is socially constructed, before moving on in the second module to consider the idea that children have agency. In the third module, we think about child rights and the emergence of a 'child rights regime', before turning in the fourth module to think about the inequalities that shape childhood. In a shorter fifth module, we think about different theories of identity emerging from psychology and childhood studies, before turning in the two final modules to think about two domains of childhood – school and work, and the juvenile justice system.

About the Lecturer

Professor Karen Wells is Professor of Human Geography at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research is focused on childhood studies, particularly the formation of childhood and the impact of inequality on children’s lives. She is author of The Visual Cultures of Childhood (2020), Childhood Studies: Making Young Subjects (2017), and Childhood in Global Perspective (2014).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Wells, K. (2021, August 23). The Sociology of Childhood - Child Rights [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-sociology-of-childhood/child-rights

MLA style

Wells, Karen. "The Sociology of Childhood – Child Rights." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-sociology-of-childhood/child-rights