The aim of the multidisciplinary field of child and childhood studies is to bridge and reach beyond disciplinary ways of understanding and defining children and childhood. One major impetus has been to take seriously children’s own perspective on their lives and living conditions. This has given rise to a vigorous development of alternative ways of approaching children as research subjects and an increased number of child-oriented research methods. A more context-sensitive approach in the study of children and childhood allows for in-depth analysis of the meaning and impact of social and global change on children’s lives and living conditions.
A second strong impetus has been to approach the changing meaning of childhood in time by studying children’s lives and conditions in various historical settings. The interdisciplinary focus on children and childhood is also an alternate way of approaching issues of import for society in a broader sense, of significance not only for research on children; it also provides new and unexpected insights into the social and cultural organization of society and social welfare, for adults, old people, children and youth.
The research at Child Studies (Tema Barn) follow five trajectories:
- Children, childhood and the politics of health and welfare – now and then
- Children, childhood and schooling, institutional care and welfare services – children’s voices, lived experiences, relations, and rights
- Children’s interactions and processes of socialization in preschool, school, and the family
- Children, culture and visual perspectives
- The politics and practice of parenthood in local and global contexts