Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Beyond the New Social Studies of Childhood: Conceptualising Hybridity?

03 April 2014 - 03 April 2014 | Workshop
Hillary Place G.18

The notion of childhood as a social construction has been the standard position for researchers in the social study of childhood for thirty or more years. More recently dissatisfaction with social constructionism, as well as the wish to develop a more multi- and interdisciplinary field of Childhood Studies, has led to the idea of “Hybrid Childhood”. In this conception childhood is understood as: an emergent bio-psycho-social-techno-discursive-cultural-historical phenomenon: a heterogeneous assemblage. This conception of childhood offers potentially productive theoretical terrain for those seeking to destabilise entrenched bio/social dualisms and yet in practical terms, scholars of childhood and youth have responded to these developments with some trepidation. In this one day conference we seek to explore the potential of these conceptions of childhood by posing a number of questions.

  • What are the implications of this way of understanding childhood?
  • What implications might this have for a politics of childhood?
  • How does this affect our understanding of children’s place in the world?
  • What would it mean for research practice in the social study of children?


  • Alan Prout (University of Leeds) (confirmed) “Moving On from Social Constructionism: confronting hybrid childhoods”.
  • Peter Kraftl (University of Leicester)  “Biopolitics, childhood and youth: (re)animating children's geographies”
  • Greg Manion (University of Stirling) “Childhood-in-Relation: socio-material transactions within place and generation.”
  • Jo Pike (University of Leeds) “Troubling the subject: children’s ontology, food and eating”.

Abtracts from all speakers are available to download as a pdf.

The brochure for the event is also available in pdf format.

Attendance at the Conference is free and includes lunch. Numbers are limited so please reserve your place as soon as possible.

If you wish to attend please apply to Jo Pike j.pike@leeds.ac.uk

A limited number of travel bursaries (kindly provided by the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society.) are available to doctoral students. To apply for one of these please email j.pike@leeds.ac.uk.

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