Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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438 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
December 2017
Print ISBN: 9781773380186


The sociology of childhood and youth has sparked international interest in recent years, and yet a reader highlighting Canadian work in this field has been long overdue. Filling this gap in the literature, The Sociology of Childhood and Youth Studies in Canada brings together cutting-edge Canadian scholarship in this important and growing discipline.

Thought-provoking and timely, this edited collection explores a breadth of essential topics, including research on and with children and youth, the social construction of childhood and youth, intersecting identities, and citizenship, rights, and social engagement. With a focus on social justice, the contributing authors critically examine various sites of inequality in the lives of children and young people, such as gender, sexuality, colonialism, race, class, and disability.

Encouraging further development of Canadian scholarship in the sociology of childhood and youth, this unique collection ensures that young people’s voices are heard by involving them in the research process. Pedagogical supports—including learning objectives, study questions, suggested research assignments, and a comprehensive glossary—make this volume an invaluable resource for students of childhood and youth, child and youth care, and early childhood education programs across Canada.


Table of Contents


Introduction: Taking Stock and Claiming Space for the Sociology of Childhood and Youth in Canada
Xiaobei Chen, Rebecca Raby, and Patrizia Albanese

Section I — Research on and with Children and Youth

Chapter 1 • Adults Researching with Children
Rachel Berman and Maggie MacNevin

Chapter 2 • “You Even Wrote Down Our Homework!: Ethnography and Creative Visual Methods in Doing Research Along with Children and Young People
Diane Farmer

Chapter 3 • “We Can Play Whatever We Want: Exploring Children’s Voices in Education and in Research
Kate MacDonald

Chapter 4 • About Us, By Us and Other Stories of Arts-Based Research and Marginalized Girls
Marnina Gonick

Chapter 5 •Breaking with Inside Experience: Navigating Practical and Scholarly Knowledge in Research with Young People
Jacqueline Kennelly, Valerie Stam, and Lynette Schick

Section II — Social Construction of Childhood and Youth

Chapter 6 • Perceptions of Our Childhood: Confronting Social Constructions of Care, Disability, and Childhood
Jihan Abbas

Chapter 7 • Studying Friendship among Children at School from a Sociological Approach to Childhood
Nathalie Bélanger

Chapter 8 • Pedagogy and Propriety: A Gendered Analysis of Children’s Fairy Tales
Nicole Andrejek

Chapter 9 • Racism, Culture, and Power in Children’s Books
Xiaobei Chen

Chapter 10 • From Babies to Teens: Children Are a Marketer’s Dream
Cheryl Williams and Natalie Coulter

Section III — Inequalities and Intersections in Experiences of Childhood and Youth

Chapter 11 • By the Year 2000? Child Poverty in Canada
Patrizia Albanese

Chapter 12 • Settler Colonialism, Biopolitics, and Indigenous Children in Canada
Dale C. Spencer and Raven Sinclair

Chapter 13 • Giving Voice: Prioritizing Youth Agency in Criminal Justice Diversion
Voula Marinos, Nathan Innocente, and Christine Goodwin-DeFaria

Chapter 14 • Making Friends, Negotiating Belonging: How Immigrant and Refugee Youth Negotiate Peer Relations to Claim Belonging
Erwin Dimitri Selimos

Chapter 15 • Dress Codes as Gender Politics: Feminist Action in Canadian High Schools
Rebecca Raby and Shauna Pomerantz

Chapter 16 • Queer and Trans at School: Gay-Straight Alliances and the Politics of Inclusion
Cameron Greensmith and Adam Davies

Section IV — Citizenship, Rights, and Social Engagement

Chapter 17 • Doing Children’s Rights: Moving beyond Entitlements and into Relationships in Canadian Contexts
Noah Kenneally

Chapter 18 • Between Children’s Rights and Disability Rights: Inclusion and Participation of Children and Youth with Disabilities
Cornelia Schneider

Chapter 19 • The Civic and Political Engagement of Canadian Youth
L. Alison Molina-Girón

Chapter 20 • Negotiating Youth Citizenship and Belonging in a Toronto “Priority” Neighbourhood
Anuppiriya Sriskandarajah


Xiaobei Chen

Xiaobei Chen is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University.

Rebecca Raby

Rebecca Raby is a Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University and a steering committee member of Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute.

Patrizia Albanese

Patrizia Albanese is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University.

More Than It Seems, The Sociology of Childhood and Youth in Canada


“A tendency in North American society is to worry about what our children will become tomorrow, while forgetting to consider who they are today. This collection seeks to remedy this mistake by looking at the current state of children and youth in Canada so that we can do whatever is necessary to make sure the kids are alright, not down the road, but right now.”

—Marianne Vardalos, PhD, Department of Sociology, Laurentian University, and author of What’s Up with Princesses?

“This text is a unique and essential contribution to the growing body of sociological work on childhood and youth. These collected essays reveal the broad range of work in the area and grapple with the theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues that arise when researchers take children’s voices seriously. Further, its exclusively Canadian content is a welcome expansion of a field dominated by American and European texts. It is a ‘must-have’ for scholars in the area.”

—Gerald Cradock, PhD, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, University of Windsor

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