RESEARCH AT CHILD STUDIES
Founded in 1988, the Department of Child Studies is an interdisciplinary research unit at the Linköping University in Sweden,. The main focus of research is on children and childhood. The faculty, as well as all doctoral students have been recruited on a nationwide basis from history, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, social work, and related fields. New doctoral students are accepted about every other year. The next group of candidates will be recruited in the spring of 2006, starting their studies in the autumn. Until now, we have published 30 doctoral dissertations (cf, list of Dissertation Abstracts), plus many published books, book chapters, and articles.
All research at the department involves an interdisciplinary investigation of children and childhood, covering different arenas such as war, welfare, media, children’s visual culture, after school activities, information technology, children’s work, sibling caretaking, organized play practices, family life, school, child care, preschool, fostering, peer play, philanthropy and welfare agencies, family therapy, child psychiatry counselling, family mediation, and youth detention homes. There is a focus on real life issues that matter in applied contexts. At the same time, all research is oriented to contemporary theorizing on childhood and children’s life conditions. Several scholars have been involved in theorizing within sociology of childhood. Other research has been informed by cultural theory, discursive theories and practice based theorizing within the social sciences. Cultural comparative aspects of childhood have been important in historically, as well as anthropologically oriented, work.
Methodologically, the research of the department covers a broad range of approaches such as: archival work, interviewing, participant observations, focus group interviewing,audio and video recordings of naturally occurring practices, documentation of children’s drawings and visual practices. Many approaches have been informed by discursive theorizing in a broad sense: discursive theory, discursive psychology, and critical analyses. In the area of ethnographic methods, we have, for instance, developed new ways of studying children’s visions of the future, as well as novel methods for documenting children’s visual culture. A group of scholars is using methods, informed by conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. All research at the department is oriented to the ”child’s perspective”, that is, to ways of capturing the participants’ own perspectives.
Our research is regularly published in major international journals, as well as Nordic and Swedish fora. Over the years, the Department of Child Studies has established itself as an international center of excellence in the area of child studies and childhood theory. Scholars at the department are intimately engaged in different international networks (see presentations of individual faculty members), and serve on the editorial boards of international journals. A series of international scholars have visited the department, and some of them have returned several times, e.g.: Elaine Anderson, Peter Auer, Charles Antaki, Michael Bamberger, Basil Bernstein, Shoshana Blum Kulka, Jens Brockmeier, Kathleen Christensen, William Corsaro, Howard Gardner, Signe Howell, Gary Cross, Alison James, Jens Norman Jörgensen, Jacqueline Goodnow, Linda Gordon, Harvey Graff, Hanne Haavind, Tamara Haraven , Shirley Brice Heath, Harry Hendricks, Kriste Lindemeyer, Jakob Mey, David Middleton, Keith Nelson, Pirjo Nikander, Elinor Ochs, Berry Mayall, Ann Phoenix, Jonathan Potter, James Prout, Katherine Riesmann, Ragnar Rommetveit, Bambi Schieffelin, Elizabeth Stokoe, Jim Wertsch, and Martin Woodhead.
About Child studies
Child Studies is an interdisciplinary research unit focusing on issues regarding children, childhood and family in history and society. Education in Child Studies: under graduate level, master level, graduate level (Ph.D).
The objective for TEMA - The Department of Thematic Studies is to pursue excellent research and education at undergraduate and advanced levels relevant to society. Tema aims to provide a major impetus in career development for both future researchers and those who have just entered the field of research
Last updated: 2011-02-10