Anthropological Perspectives on Children as Helpers, Workers, Artisans, and Laborers

  • David F. Lancy

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. David F. Lancy
    Pages 1-30
  3. David F. Lancy
    Pages 31-58
  4. David F. Lancy
    Pages 59-84
  5. David F. Lancy
    Pages 85-129
  6. David F. Lancy
    Pages 131-158
  7. David F. Lancy
    Pages 159-187
  8. David F. Lancy
    Pages 189-212
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 237-245

About this book


Within academia, the study of childhood has been dominated by a mono-cultural or WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) perspective. However, a contrasting and more varied perspective is emerging within the field of anthropology. So, while the phenomenon of children as workers is ephemeral in WEIRD societies and in the literature on child development, there is ample cross-cultural and historical evidence of children making vital contributions to the family economy. Children’s “labor” is of great interest to researchers but it is treated as extra-cultural—an aberration that must be controlled. Work as a central component in children’s lives, development, and identity goes unappreciated. This book aims to rectify that omission by surveying and synthesizing a very robust corpus of material. Two prominent themes receive particular emphasis: the processes involved in learning to work, and the interaction between ontogeny and children’s roles as workers.


Adolescence Labor Laws Agriculture Gender Differences School Education

Authors and affiliations

  • David F. Lancy
    • 1
  1. 1.AnthropologyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-53353-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-53351-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site