BARN8101 - Social Studies of Children and Childhood: Research Perspectives


This course is no longer taught and is only available for examination.

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The course addresses interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and debates on child and childhood research as they have unfolded historically and in contemporary childhood studies. This includes, among others, engagement with the developmental approach and viewing childhood as socially and culturally constructed. The course addresses issues at a structural level, that have implications for children's everyday lives and childhood, as well as children's active contribution and agency in defining and giving meaning to their lives, activities and relations. Central issues that will be explored include images and understandings of children and childhood, generational relations as well as intersections of culture, gender, identity, ethnicity, race, and children's lived experiences. Besides, children’s peer activities and relationships, adult organization, and their expectations in and outside educational institutions are discussed. The course addresses childhood as a social phenomenon and shows how it is shaped by diverse societal political and economic processes as well as daily life conditions, practices, power, and intergenerational interactions.

Learning outcome

This course aims to introduce students to broad theoretical perspectives, concepts, and ongoing debates in critical childhood studies, as well as to how children's everyday lives and welfare and the politics of childhood vary across time and space.

By the end of the course the student has achieved the following learning outcomes:


  • Has obtained in-depth knowledge of theoretical perspectives, concepts, and ongoing debates in the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies.
  • Has obtained an understanding of why and how the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies emerged, and a critical approach to mainstream theorizing of children and childhood.
  • Can critically examine childhood as a social, cultural and historical phenomenon, and obtain an understanding of the ways children's everyday lives and wellbeing relate to cultural, societal and political circumstances in changing societies.
  • Can engage in interdisciplinary debates regarding how to theorize childhood and children’s lives in different social and spatial contexts


  • Has the ability to critically approach and deconstruct views, understandings, discourses and theorizations of children and childhood.
  • Has the skill to contest and develop concepts and ideas linked to childhood studies.

General competence:

  • Has developed the ability to question implicit and taken-for-granted assumptions regarding what it means to be a child.
  • Has developed understanding of various ways of conceptualizing and theorizing childhood

Learning methods and activities

Total lecture hours: ca. 20. Supervision of paper, individually and/or group based. The teaching language is English.

The course is offered when teaching/supervisor resources are available and can be changed or cancelled if less than 5 PhD candidates are registered.

Compulsory assignments

  • Attending lectures is compulsory.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

Admittance to the course requires an approved master's degree in a social science or humanities discipline, or equivalent.

Course materials

Information will be given at the beginning of the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
BARN8001 10.0 SPRING 2006
BARN3101 7.5 AUTUMN 2017
BARN8009 3.0 AUTUMN 2022
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  10.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Childhood Studies
  • Social Sciences
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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