Childhood (re)materialized: bringing political-economy into the field

Jason Hart, Jo Boyden

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

4 Citations (SciVal)


This paper offers an account of Childhood Studies, paying particular attention to the history of its emergence and to its primary interest in the socio-cultural domain. The paper emphasises that the field rose at a time when neoliberal rationality was increasingly permeating all aspects of child life. It maintains that while scholars have done much to document the experience and perspectives of children exposed to diverse forms of marginalisation and exploitation under this rationality, they have neglected to account for the political-economic conditions in which children’s lives unfold, thereby tacitly accepting the status quo. It argues for the need to rethink the dominant methodological and disciplinary bent of Childhood Studies and outlines some of the theoretical and methodological work required for the integration of a political-economic perspective.

Key words: political economy, neoliberal rationality, Childhood Studies, methodology, theory
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Childhood Studies
EditorsSpyros Spyrou, Rachel Rosen, Daniel Cook
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018


  • political economy
  • neoliberal rationality
  • childhood studies
  • methodology
  • theory


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