The Changing Experience of Childhood
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The Changing Experience of Childhood : Families and Divorce

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Description

Family life in modern societies is being transformed by high rates of divorce. Such changes have given rise to concerns that the quality of family life for children has deteriorated and that children are damaged by the choices their parents are making. It is possible, however, that children and families are more resilient than this. Rather than witnessing the end of the family and the end of contented childhood, we could be seeing the emergence of post--divorce families and new experiences of childhood based on these new arrangements. This path--breaking book explores childrena s own accounts of family life after divorce and allows us to see these changes from their point of view. It provides a sociological perspective on how childhood may be changing and how the a democratica status of children in the family may be in the process of transformation. The implications for family and legal policy of listening to childrena s views are also set out. The Changing Experience of Childhood will be of interest to all those in academic and public life concerned about the future of the family.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 166 x 228 x 12mm | 342g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745624006
  • 9780745624006
  • 1,219,934

Back cover copy

Family life in modern societies is being transformed by high ratesof divorce. Such changes have given rise to concerns that thequality of family life for children has deteriorated and thatchildren are damaged by the choices their parents are making. It ispossible, however, that children and families are more resilientthan this. Rather than witnessing the end of the family and the endof contented childhood, we could be seeing the emergence ofpost-divorce families and new experiences of childhood based onthese new arrangements.





This path-breaking book explores children's own accounts offamily life after divorce and allows us to see these changes fromtheir point of view. It provides a sociological perspective on howchildhood may be changing and how the 'democratic' status ofchildren in the family may be in the process of transformation. Theimplications for family and legal policy of listening to children'sviews are also set out.





The Changing Experience of Childhood will be of interestto all those in academic and public life concerned about the futureof the family.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Chapter 1: Re--thinking Childhood/Re--thinking Families. Chapter 2: Childhood and Modern Narratives of Harm. Chapter 3: Childrena s Perspectives on Post--Divorce Family Life. Chapter 4: a Doinga Post--Divorce Childhood. Chapter 5: Do children care?: Childhood and Moral Reasoning. Chapter 6: Children, Citizenship and Family Practices. Chapter 7: Childrena s Experiences of Co--parenting. Chapter 8: Children and their Parents: Different Perspectives. Chapter 9: Implications. Appendix. Notes. Bibliography. Index
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Review quote

"This book is a fruit of sociologistsa discovery of the child. The authors characterize past research in the field as "harmism" which examined children only in terms of the damage that parental divorce might do to them. In contrast, they set out to see children as people in their own right with voices that should be heard. The result is a rich, compelling and sometimes disturbing account of parental separation as seen by children." Martin Richards, Director, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge. "In this sensitive and insightful account of childrena s experiences of family change Smart and her colleagues provide detailed and evocative illustration of childrena s own views of divorce and parenting. Through the images and words of children themselves this book shows children to be active moral reasoners and negotiators in the construction of new meanings and ideas of family life post--divorce." Allison James, University of Hull "The authors aim to be non--judgemental, to recognise each childa s unique perspective, and to remember the powerful constraints on childrena s lives that complicate the power imbalance between adults and young people. In these repsects, their work acts as a reminder and a reaffirmation of high standards for policymakers and practitioners". Pricilla Alderson, Institute of Education, University of London. "This book is of signal importance for all practitioners and policymakers concerned with childrena s issues and in particular their role in legal proceedings" Friona Raitt, Scolag Legal Journal
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About Carol Smart

Carol Smart is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds and Director of the Centre for Research on Family, Kinship and Childhood. Bren Neale and Amanda Wade are Senior Research Fellows, University of Leeds.
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