Diversity and Difference in Childhood: Issues for Theory and Practice

Diversity and Difference in Childhood: Issues for Theory and Practice

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Educators and community-based professionals are often required to work with children and families from a range of diverse backgrounds. The second edition of this popular book goes beyond simplistic definitions of diversity, encouraging a much broader understanding and helping childhood educators and community-based professionals develop a critical disposition towards assumptions about children and childhood in relation to diversity, difference and social justice.

As well as drawing on research, the book gives an overview of relevant contemporary social theories, including poststructuralism, cultural studies, critical theory, postcolonialism, critical 'race' theory, feminist perspectives and queer theory. It interrogates practice and explores opportunities and strategies for creating a more equitable environment, whilst covering key issues impacting on children's lives, including: globalization, neoliberalism, new racisms, immigration, Indigeneity, refugees, homophobia, heterosexism and constructions of childhood. Each chapter provides an overview of the area of discussion, a focus on the implications for practice, and recommended readings.

Providing insight into how social justice practices in childhood education and community-based service delivery can make a real difference in the lives of children, their families and communities, this is key reading for early childhood and primary educators, community-based professionals, university students and researchers.

"This thoughtful, topical book addresses a considerable range of diversity issues relevant to teacher educators, their students, and other professionals who work with children and their families within and beyond Australia. Indigenous issues including language maintenance and revival have particular relevance within postcolonial nation states. Other issues of international relevance include: identities and retention of community languages, gender equity, childhood and sexuality, poverty and inequalities, and related policies. The writing is critical, scholarly, and engaging. This timely second edition draws on the authors' longstanding teacher education experiences, and their most recent research, to revisit the challenges of diversity and difference in children's lives".
Dr Valerie N. Podmore, former associate professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, the University of Auckland, New Zealand

"The second edition of Robinson and Jones Diaz's Diversity and Difference in Childhood is a thoroughly welcome addition to my list of key texts for students of early childhood and childhood studies. It provides a means from the outset for educating undergraduate students from within critical postmodern and post structural perspectives - thus orienting their views of and actions within their future professions towards critical and equitable practices that value difference rather than treat is as a problem to be solved.

Furthermore, for practitioners who find themselves questioning modernist constructions of children, development, difference, diversity and their work, the book provides a thorough grounding in frameworks and tools that will help them re-theorise what they are doing whilst simultaneously supporting them towards positive change."
Alexandra C. Gunn, Associate Dean (Teacher Education), University of Otago College of Education, New Zealand

"This is the 21st century early childhood education text. Diversity and Difference in Childhood provides early childhood educators and scholars a powerful space for asking social justice questions in a profoundly innovative way. Diversity and difference in childhood is not a 'traditional' early childhood conversation. As the authors appropriately suggest, this book is for educators to challenge taken for granted knowledges/practices and to take "personal and professional risks for social justice".
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Ph.D., Professor, School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Canada

"This new edition of Diversity and Difference is both important and timely. There is a new urgency to some emerging childhood issues, including those associated with childhood sexuality, and a distinct lack of critical resources to inform the debate. This book helps fill this gap. Undertaking a major revision and incorporating new material, the authors have ensured the book's continued relevance and renewed significance in the very dynamic context of childhood studies. The book makes an important contribution to resourcing explorations of the many difficult and complex issues associated with childhood in a globalised yet differentiated world. Readers will find the new theoretical resources and additional chapters that have been included give the book a sense of enhanced rigour and its depth and breadth of coverage make it an ideal resource for a wide variety of interests and perspectives."
Christine Woodrow, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, the Centre for Educational Research, Western Sydney University, Australia
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 151 x 230 x 13mm | 473g
  • Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 033526364X
  • 9780335263646
  • 141,190

Table of contents


Chapter 1: Changing paradigms in childhood and using critical social theories to understand childhoods

Chapter 2: Constructions of childhood

Chapter 3: The changing nature of families in the 21st Century

Chapter 4: Social Class and Inequalities: deconstructing poverty and disadvantage

Chapter 5: Critical multiculturalism: policy and practice

Chapter 6: Gender and post-feminism?

Chapter 7: Sexuality: Children's sexual citizenship

Chapter 8: Indigeneity

Chapter 9: Refugees and Asylum seekers

Chapter 10: Languages, identities and bilingualism in childhood

Chapter 11: Revisiting the challenges of diversity and difference for childhoods
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About Kerry Robinson

Kerry Robinson is a professor in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, Australia.

Dr. Criss Jones Diaz is a senior lecturer in the School of Education at Western Sydney University, Australia.
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