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The ‘New Paradigm' of the Sociology of Childhood: Reflections on Social Justice Through the Italian Alternative Pedagogies

The ‘New Paradigm' of the Sociology of Childhood: Reflections on Social Justice Through the Italian Alternative Pedagogies
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Author(s): Stefano Ba' (Leeds Trinity University, UK)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 15
Source title: Global Ideologies Surrounding Children's Rights and Social Justice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Icarbord Tshabangu (Leeds Trinity University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2578-3.ch014

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Abstract

This chapter aims at developing a critique of the so-called “New Paradigm” of the sociology of childhood, which was developed in British sociological schools between the 1960s and 1980s. The New Paradigm represented a substantial challenge to mainstream sociology of childhood and from this basis, Childhood Studies were capable of producing influential thinking about childhood and practices involving childhood. The main idea of this chapter is that the New Paradigm cannot constitute an adequate theoretical basis for ensuring the fulfilment of children's lives in terms of freedom and social justice. Its central point, that childhood is socially constructed, is not articulated coherently and is internally inconsistent. Italian alternative pedagogical practices are used to provide a concrete backdrop for the theoretical objections raised against the New Paradigm. These alternative critical practices commonly assert that theory cannot be separated from practice and that ideals of social justice for children are based on the struggles of marginalised communities.

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