Real Bodies pp 96-114 | Cite as

The Child’s Body

  • Jo Bridgeman


Our own experiences as children and our current relationships with children may appear to render theorizing about the child unnecessary. Childhood appears a natural and normal period through which we all pass in preparation for adulthood. In common sense understandings what identifies the child is physical and mental immaturity which gradually develops with the transition from newborn, to infant, toddler, child and adolescent. At any and all stages, the child is understood in relation to and in contrast with the adult: the child stands as ‘other’ to the adult norm. The adult is mature, rational and competent; the child immature, irrational and incompetent.


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Further reading

  1. Bridgeman Jo, and Daniel Monk, Feminist Perspectives on Child Law (London, 2000: Cavendish Publishing).Google Scholar
  2. A collection of essays on Child Law considering areas of law going beyond this chapter including human rights, education law and criminal justice from a variety of feminist and critical theoretical perspectives including discourse analysis.Google Scholar
  3. James, Allison, Chris Jenks and Alan Prout, Theorising Childhood (Cambridge, 1998: Polity Press with Blackwell Publishers Ltd).Google Scholar
  4. Developing the social construction of childhood to accommodate the material realities of children’s lives across a range of issues.Google Scholar
  5. Jenks, Chris, Childhood (London: Routledge, 1996).Google Scholar
  6. An introduction to approaches to childhood within sociology and addressing contemporary concerns through a social constructionist perspective.Google Scholar
  7. Prout, Alan (ed.), The Body, Childhood and Society (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press — now Palgrave, 2000).Google Scholar
  8. A collection of essays on children’s bodies with a useful introduction to the theoretical perspectives.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jo Bridgeman 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Bridgeman

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