Changing childhood - Approaching a complex phenomenon

Renate Kränzl-Nagl, Johanna Mierendorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This contribution reflects approaches that focus on childhood and its change from different perspectives. As a starting point we high-lighten the meaning of childhood in everyday life as well as current discourses in the public and the media. A special emphasis is placed on images of childhood and developments in childhood research (particularly in the recently established sociology of childhood) that determine the understanding of and the approaches towards childhood in many respects. In addition, indicators of changing childhood in modern western societies are introduced and illustrated by examples of Austria and Germany. These indicators have been used to »stick-on label« childhood in contemporary societies - a fact that is critically discussed in the article. This underscores the absence of a comprehensive theoretical concept in the field of childhood sociology that explains childhood in the context of societal change. In the conclusions we emphasize future challenges for (a sociology-based) childhood research.

Translated title of the contributionChanging childhood - Approaching a complex phenomenon
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalSWS - Rundschau
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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