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The Anthropology of Childhood
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3rd Edition

  • Date Published: March 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108931991


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About the Authors
  • How are children raised in different cultures? What is the role of children in society? How are families and communities structured around them? Now in its third edition, this deeply engaging book delves into these questions by reviewing and cataloging the findings of over 100 years of anthropological scholarship dealing with childhood and adolescence. It is organized developmentally, moving from infancy through to adolescence and early adulthood, and enriched with anecdotes from ethnography and the daily media, to paint a nuanced and credible picture of childhood in different cultures, past and present. This new edition has been expanded and updated with over 350 new sources, and introduces a number of new topics, including how children learn from the environment, middle childhood, and how culture is 'transmitted' between generations. It remains the essential book to read to understand what it means to be a child in our complex, ever-changing world.

    • Introduces theory in a clear, easy-to-understand way, making it accessible for readers without a background in anthropology
    • Over 350 new case studies have been added to this edition, ensuring that readers are brought up to date with the latest findings
    • Richly illustrated with high-quality photos and vivid anecdotes, providing a memorable and compelling record of childhood
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a wonderful book spanning the full range of experiences encountered by children across cultures and through time during this most critical of all human life phases. It provides a beautifully illustrated treasure trove of examples and insights amassed over Lancy's lifetime spent studying how children have been celebrated, tended, and educated – as well as, sometimes, also exploited.' Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mother Nature and Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding

    'The Anthropology of Childhood has been the pinnacle resource for students and scholars seeking to understand childhood and adolescence crossculturally since the first edition was published in 2008. Drawing from over 100 years of research in anthropology, Dr. Lancy masterfully illustrates the meaning and nuanced experiences of childhood and youth across the globe. This third edition dives even deeper into classic research and guides us through the most recent and trailblazing research available.' Dr. Hillary Fouts, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Western Oregon University

    'A fascinating insight into the true nature of childhood – a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand children and the role culture plays in shaping us all.' Melissa Hogenboom, author of The Motherhood Complex

    'This new edition of Lancy's landmark book is again an endless source of information and inspiration. The updated and extended collection of anthropological evidence about children, childhood, and families is definitely the must-read for students of children's socialization and learning.' Professor Emeritus Heidi Keller, Osnabrück University

    'Drawing on developmental psychology, anthropology, biology, and sociology, David Lancy reveals a wholistic view of childhood, enriched with deep ethnographic insight into the diverse ways children grow up. Lancy's work elevates the study of childhood by bringing the role of children in society into meaningful light.' Karen L. Kramer, Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah

    'In this deeply enriched and utterly compelling new edition, David Lancy continues to break ethnocentric and widespread assumptions about child socialization, learning, and parenting, making vital contributions to the anthropology of childhood and youth. While so recently published, this book has already become a classic in childhood studies and beyond.' Dr. Camilla Morelli, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, The University of Bristol

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    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: March 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108931991
    • length: 584 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 188 x 27 mm
    • weight: 1.27kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Where do children come from?
    2. The value of children
    3. To make a child
    4. It takes a village
    5. Making sense
    6. Of marbles and morals
    7. The chore curriculum
    8. Living in limbo
    9. Taming the autonomous learner
    10. Elastic childhood
    Author index
    Topic index
    Society index.

  • Author

    David F. Lancy, Utah State University
    David F. Lancy is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University. Recent publications include Child Helpers (2020) and Raising Children (2017).

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