Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

Childhoods: Growing Up in Aotearoa New Zealand

Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

Childhoods: Growing Up in Aotearoa New Zealand

Article excerpt

Nancy Higgins and Clare Freeman (eds.) (2013) Childhoods: growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand Otago University Press

Higgins and Freeman have produced a very useful, indeed definitive, collection on the social lives of New Zealand children and the local experiences of childhood. Yet again this volume emanates from the organisational attention on this topic through a centre- the Otago University Children and Young people as social actors research cluster, although of course 'important' other work is brought in. The volume not only provided an opportunity to reflect on the state of childhood studies in New Zealand but provides a useful compilation of research work, the first general text since the Ritchie's studies in the 1970s. The contents are deftly described by the editors:

The first part sets the framework for the book and the context for the study of childhood in Aotearoa New Zealand. ... Part 2 explores diversity in childhood and key issues affecting Aotearoa New Zealand's children in the past and the present, including school, play, the law, work, and the media as well as the context for different childhood experiences, such as being Maori and disabled, being adopted or fostered, an experiencing other cultures. The final part of the book presents children's and young people's voices in diverse settings and with reference to a range of issues, including early childhood, parents in prison, ide of success, gay-straight alliances in secondary schools, and Maori youth's transitions to work and adulthood (15). …

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