The research environment at Child Studies is interdisciplinary, and the department’s researchers have backgrounds in many different subject areas including psychology, cultural studies, linguistics, social anthropology, sociology and history. The research conducted focuses on the everyday experience of children and young people as well as the social, political and historical conditions impacting children, childhood and families.
The research can be divided into four general areas: the child’s social interaction and language; children’s culture and consumption; changes in childhood in time and space; and children, families and parenthood.
As a doctoral student, you become part of this research environment. Doctoral studies begin with a year of coursework including two long courses in the theoretical and methodological foundations of child studies. These courses are intermixed with advanced studies on a specific theme such as family, health, the school or culture. The purpose of this course structure is to provide a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of the area of child studies. Each doctoral student undertakes advanced studies in their thesis subject area through elective courses and continuous supervision while working on the thesis.
The seminar as a working method
A key part of the doctoral programme is a series of lively seminars that are important to all faculty at Tema Barn. In these seminars, doctoral students get feedback on their thesis work from other doctoral students as well as senior researchers. On other occasions, they have the opportunity to listen to and debate with invited researchers. By giving and receiving comments, and by participating in the ongoing discussion about theory and method within child studies, the doctoral student’s knowledge is deepened and their capacity for argumentation within their own thesis project area is honed.
Students are also given the opportunity to take teaching assignments within the Child Studies Masters programme, and in the undergraduate teacher education programme, for example. Through undertaking such departmental duties amounting to 20% per year, the time for completing the doctorate can be extended by one year, from 4 to 5 years.