On Change of Children and Childhood

  • Jens Qvortrup
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


Dominant definitions of childhood until now have been characterized by individualistic, anticipatory, and protectionis factors — real society means adult society of which children are only marginal members but into which they are supposed to be growing. Contrary to this view, childhood in this chapter is understood as a social construction, a whole population group. As such, it has a permanent not transient character, it interacts with other parts of society, and it is thus already integrated in society. Childhood as a social construction is open to cultural and historical change and interpretation in a very different way from the single child. I discuss a number of possible dimensions of childhood as a social phenomenon and introduce a new international project on the topic.


Distributive Justice Social Construction Social Phenomenon International Project Manipulate Variable 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Qvortrup
    • 1
  1. 1.Sydjysk UniversitetscenterEsbjergDenmark

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