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Concepts of Childhood In Europe. Verity Campbell-Barr And Norman Gabriel. Welcome to the day. Early Childhood Well-being Research Network Presentations and/abstracts from the day will be available at:

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concepts of childhood in europe

Concepts of Childhood In Europe

Verity Campbell-Barr


Norman Gabriel

welcome to the day
Welcome to the day
  • Early Childhood Well-being Research Network
  • Presentations and/abstracts from the day will be available at:

  • Voice Inclusion and Participation Cluster
similarities and differences
Similarities and differences
  • Characteristics of childhood:
    • Familiarization
    • Scholarization (investment)
    • Protection
    • Exemption from work
historical context
Historical Context

Demographic trends in Europe – fewer children,

longer lives

Young children become even more important to

national economies, but also emotionally priceless

Increasing levels of investment by EU and

national governments

Workforce professionalisation and discourses on

‘early intervention’, expertise and trust

some theoretical beginnings
Some Theoretical Beginnings
  • Relational theories – how do we explain changes in relationships between men, women and young children?
  • Long-term trends – changing power-balances, ‘rights’ and informalisation
  • Concepts of innocence and human ‘nature’ – (interior, inside, within young children, or exterior, outside, in the environment?)
a normative frame of reference
A Normative Frame of Reference?
    • Norm-orientated
      • Enhancing the quality of children’s lives
  • Barcelona Agreement
  • Europe 2020
  • Childhood in crisis
    • European comparisons
    • Unicef’s Report Card 7
cultural context
Cultural Context
  • What do we mean by cultural difference?
  • Within European countries – small c, experiences of young children based on class, ethnicity. religion and gender
  • Between countries – large C, national ‘we’ images, generating educational and cultural capital
  • How can we explain similarities between countries? Civilizing offensives for upcoming generations (social control over young minds and bodies)