Child Studies (TEMAB)

We conduct critical interdisciplinary research and teaching about children and childhood. By combining a child perspective and children’s perspective with high theoretical awareness and critical thinking, are we continuously articulating new burning questions concerning children and childhood. 

The mission of the Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies is to provide an environment for research and education about children and young people that is socially relevant and interdisciplinary. We focus on lived experiences as well aa social, political and material conditions. With our research, we strive to make visible and analyse problems associated with how the view of children and childhood varies with time and location, using contemporary, comparative and historical perspectives.

We study children’s and young people’s lives, conditions and agency in various social and cultural contexts, and through investigating the legislation and policy that regulate and circumscribe children. Through our interdisciplinary profile and our critical perspective, we contribute to renew and re-think research about children and childhood, both in Sweden and abroad.

Critical Child Studies

With our research we aim to question taken for granted values and norms of children and childhood. We accomplish this by conducting empirical studies, by creating understanding of or proposing political changes for children. Right from the start, when Child Studies was established in the 1980s, a critical approach was central for how the research questions were formulated. During the 2000s did we establish the concept “critical child studies” as a vision. Today Child Studies gives courses in critical child studies for doctoral students, and the critical approach is fundamental to the courses given on our international online master’s programme. Moreover, we conduct critical research on children and childhood, and put emphasis on questioning scientific theories that have become accepted and taken for granted within child and childhood research.

Child Studies 30 years: new perspectives, new pathways

In 2018, Child Studies celebrated 30 years of research drawing on a continuous flow of research topics and matters. With 60 completed theses about children and young people in practice and politics, and after several major research projects, we have established a critical approach to research on children and childhood. And we continue to ask how to think differently about children’s worlds.

A venue for child and youth researchers

Our research is characterised by its interdisciplinary approach by, for example combining theories and methods from the social sciences and humanities. With 30 years of research experiences behind us Child Studies has become and still is a unique research environment focusing on the life conditions of children in multiple settings.
It is a privilege to be a whole unit of researchers with a shared interest in children and childhood and makes us and important venue for national as well as international researchers. Child Studies is home to professors, senior lecturers and PhD students. We offers an international online master’s programme in Child Studies. We teach throughout the University on, for example, the teacher training programme, social work, and we give single-subject courses “To listen to children”.

Five important themes in our research

• Children and young people: health, well-being and quality of life
• Peer-culture and social interaction in preschool, school and the family
• Children, the state and the market in time and space
• Culture and practice: visuality, consumption, materiality, sexuality and children’s culture
• The practice and politics of parenthood

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Child Studies seminar series
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From social interactions to children’s political and social significance

Child Studies is held together by an active seminar series including all researchers in the unit. The seminars focus on current and on-going research in a wide range of areas: from children’s social interaction to children’s political and social significance in and for society. The seminar invites guest speakers/researchers with relevance to the field of child studies.

“The Flying Doctor”

A regular feature of the seminar series is “The Flying Doctor”. On these occasions, two researchers who have recently defended their PhD thesis are combined and invited to give a lecture on a mutual theme. The specialness of these seminars is that the invited researchers are from external research environments and provide an opportunity for us to keep up-to-date and informed of what is new in the field of child studies.

Open seminars

Our seminars are open for everyone. For more information and to register for participation, contact Professor Johanna Sköld at: We look forward to seeing you!

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New Project Launched
Children’s Rights and Perceptions of Justice Rights and Equality: the Challenge of Children’s Representation: A New Project Funded by the British Academy. To pressrelease.


CaMP Anthropology interviews Marjorie Harness Goodwin, UCLA and Asta Cekaite, Child Studies on their book, Embodied Family Choreography. To the article


Alan Prout, professor emeritus in childhood sociology from Leeds University in the UK, has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy. He is one of the pioneers in the childhood sociology research field, and has contributed to the contemporary view of children and childhood as social and cultural constructions. In addition to a profound research interest, he has written about parenting, children and health, education about sexuality, and the physicality of children. He has a long collaboration with researchers at the Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies.

PdD Programme
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Contact & staff
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