ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Sociology of Childhood, RC53

RC53 main page

Program Theme: Facing an Unequal World – Challenges for Childhood within a Global Sociology


Program Coordinator

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 14.


For sessions program and schedule see

On-line congress program


Child Abuse and Neglect: Causes and Remedies in 21st Century

Session Organizer
Vinod CHANDRA, University of Lucknow, India,

Session in English

Child abuse and neglect is as old as crime in society. Technological advancement and its necessary evils have increased the frequency of child abuse in both developing and developed societies. The new forms of child abuse through information technology in the digital world have been emerged. Media Message Service (MMS) and You-tube and various websites on internet are used for child pornography and sexual abuse of children. Economic competition in technologically advanced societies has created new space for different varieties of child abuse. On the one hand child abuse and neglect is on increase while on the other hand the debate on children’s care and protection from such circumstances has also became very effective as some countries have expanded their Juvenile Justice system to children in need of care and protection.

The UN Convention on Rights of the Child has also paid significant contribution in igniting the debate and strong measures were taken for providing care and protection to children who suffer from abuse and neglect. Looking at the importance of the issue a session is proposed to discuss issues related to child abuse and neglect in global perspective.


Childhood Socialization in a Context of Globalization

Session Organizer
Fernanda MULLER, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil,


Childhood: Socialization in a Globalized World

Session Organizers
Ethel V. KOSMINSKY, Queens College/CUNY, USA,
Fernanda MULLER, University of Brasilia, Brazil,

Session in English

This session refers to the socialization processes, which occurs through contemporary childhood. Children learn the values, norms and social practices of their own culture, and at the same time are social agents able to make decisions and socialize other children, and adults. How does a globalized world affect these socialization processes? How do children interfere in the globalization process? A globalized world presents a very fast circulation of people and goods, and at the same time widens the gap between rich and poor people within countries and between them. We intend to cover all possible socialization processes in which children are social agents and gain knowledge and experience, as well as, are goods submitted to the globalized circulation.


Childhoods in ‘Other’ Countries: Challenges for Theory and Practice

Session Organizer
Lucia RABELLO DE CASTRO, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Session in English

The emergence of children as a subject of rights, as consumers and as global actors, in a not very recent past, has prefigured univocal understandings about childhood supported by certain epistemological, ethical and political underpinnings. For instance, the concept of a ‘universal childhood’ indexed in international legal documents stands as a prevalent ethical construction worldwide; consequently, it has foreclosed other as important possibilities of ethically construing children and childhood. On the other hand, the impetus to particularize childhood and contrast its univocal and dominant constructions, though present, seems to exert at most an illustrative/ ‘negativizing’ function in theorizing and public policy.

This session opens up the invitation for a discussion about how particularities of childhood, especially those found in the periphery countries of the highly industrialized nation-blocks, can serve to challenge present epistemological, ethical and political tenets by which childhood is made visible. Instead of accommodating particularities in well-established and legitimated theories of childhood, it is proposed here to think out how particularities can serve as challenges for making positive ‘other’ theorizing and practice about children and childhood.


Children and Violence in Close Relationships

Session Organizers
Maria ERIKSSON, Mälardalen University, Sweden,
Elisabet NASMAN, Uppsala University, Sweden,

Session in English

How can critical perspectives developed within the ‘new social studies of childhood’ contribute to the development of theory, methodology and ethics in studies of children and violence in close relationships? The session invites papers on violence that problematise implicit or explicit constructions of children/young people, adults and child-adult relations, and that analytically treat children/young people as social actors among other social actors. A broad range of topics are welcome, for example, adults and children, perpetrators and victims, politics and policy, public authorities and professional practice, social movements and civil society, privilege, marginalization and different forms of inequality.


Inequality, Diversity, Discrimination

Session Organizer
Régine SIROTA, Université Paris Descartes, France,

Session in English/French

At different times, contexts and sociological traditions the issue of inequalities in childhood arose quite differently, whether social inequalities, ethnic, or other types. How the relevant questions asked, and what are the themes that were then worked out? Which questions are left unanswered? How do these questions and the issues they suggest redefine childhood? And how in turn will this redefinition of childhood then call for additional concepts, categorizations and problems to be addressed?

Suivant les époques, les contextes et les traditions sociologiques la question des inégalités concernant l`enfance s`est posée assez différemment, qu`il s`agisse des inégalités sociales, ethniques, de genre ou autres. Comment ces questions se sont-elles posées, quelles sont les thématiques qui ont été préférentiellement travaillées? quelles sont celles qui ont été laissées de côté? Comment ces problématiques redéfinissent-elles l`enfance? En quoi le fait de les aborder à partir de l`enfance appelle à une redéfinition de ces catégorisations et de ses problématiques?


Institutional Interactions Involving Children

Session Organizer
Claudio BARALDI, University of Modena andReggio Emilia, Italy,

Session in English

This session will examine institutional interactions involving children.


International Migration, Adaptation and Inequalities during Childhood

Session Organizer
Loretta BASS, University of Oklahoma, USA,

Session in English

This session examines international migration, adaptation and inequalities experiences during childhood for the first and second generation. This session seeks papers from all regions of the globe in order to examine this phenomenon cross-culturally. This session seeks papers that examine inequalities, the negotiation of social status, structured power relations, constraint, perseverance and resistance. Paper may examine structural dimensions, such as interactions with the government, social class, and race or ethnic distinctions, and cultural dimensions such as social norms and religion.


RC53 Business Meeting

Session Organizer
Loretta BASS, University of Oklahoma, USA,


RC53 Roundtable: Facing an Unequal World – Challenges for Childhood within a Global Sociology

Session Organizer
Loretta BASS, University of Oklahoma, USA,

Session in English

This session entitled, Facing an Unequal World – Challenges for Childhood within a Global Sociology, will include five roundtables with two-to-three presenters at each table. Participants are invited to present their research or preliminary findings in a less formal format than a regular Open Paper Session.


Social Definitions of Children’s Problems and Professional Interventions. From Local Specifics to Global Implementations

Session Organizers
Lars ALBERTH, Wuppertal University, Germany,
Doris BUEHLER-NIEDERBERGER, Wuppertal University, Germany,

Session in English

Children, their needs, their characters, deficiencies and problems are objects of professional definitions. A perspective on inequalities in childhood has to take the differences of social definitions of children’s states into account, which may vary with professions involved as well as with the social contexts the professions work in. This seems especially true for professional groups responsible for interventions into the children’s lives beyond mere diagnostical practices, as they practically use social definitions of children’s problems and therefore are able to powerfully render the children’s lives respectively.

Moreso, these stocks of knowledge are parts of globalized expert markets and therefore achieving importance for children’s lives around the world. Such knowledge, however, becomes transformed in local contexts. As inequality in childhoods from a global perspective involves inequality by: the applied stocks of knowledge can refer to quite different objects and gives account on the value of the child in the professional programs of interventions.

This session is planned as a double session. The first part will address comparisons among professional groups whereas the second part deals with inter- and intraprofessional dynamics. Therefore we invite papers to address one or several of the following questions:
  1. What are dominant definitions of children’s problems and which ideas of social order do they respond to?
  2. What professions and organizations are involved in defining children’s problems? What are their specific kinds of knowledge, their diagnostic categories, aims and modes of their interventions?
  3. To what extend do the stocks of knowledge as well as the practices of intervention take the children’s point of view into account or even concern the children at all, in contrast to other agents (e.g. family)?
  4. How do stocks of professional knowledge as well as practices of intervention on children’s problems evolve over time? How are they shaped by local contexts, division of work among professions or the appearance of new agents (new professions or organizations) in the field?
  5. What are the outcomes of such dynamics on the children’s lives and how do the children perceive the interventions they are subjected to?


The Queer Child/The Queer Family: Challenging Normative Constructions of Childhood and Children’s Families

Session Organizer
Kerry ROBINSON, University of Western Sydney, Australia,

Session in English

Hegemonic discourses of the construction of childhood in western societies operate to regulate normative representations of the child, family structures, and adult citizen subjects. Papers in this session will examine how heteronormativity and ‘childhood innocence’, both central to constructions of the normative child, regulate children’s gendered and sexualized identities, children’s access to sexual knowledge, and what are considered the appropriate family contexts in which to raise children.

This session will address: children who challenge heteronormative understandings of gender; the discourse of childhood innocence constituting the ‘vulnerable’ child; and queer families perceived by many as destabilizing the very moral fabric of the foundations of society.


Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Children and Leisure: Intersectional Inequalities

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC53 Sociology of Childhood


Children`s Agency Trough Daily Life Interactions

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC53 Sociology of Childhood [host committee]


Labor Market Trends and Family Well-Being

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC53 Sociology of Childhood



isa logo
International Sociological Association
June 2014