RN4 - Sociology of Children and Childhood

RN Coordinators:

Nigel Thomas, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK


Griet Roets, Ghent University, Belgium



Description of the Research Network: Research Network 04 aims to bring together scholars across Europe engaged in both theoretical and empirical work on children and childhood. There have been successful Sociology of Childhood Streams at the last seven ESA Conferences (1999-2013), and in 2012 and 2014 we held two very successful mid-term Symposiums (in Jyväskylä and Modena), which were devoted to moving forward the sociological theorising of children and childhood.

General Call for Papers: The general theme of the 2015 conference is `Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination’, and the various sessions will address children’s lives and social relations in the context of societal change. We would like to build on the overall themes of the conference, firstly by inviting papers that explore children’s experiences of growing social inequalities; particularly welcome will be papers connected to the arena of public policy that offer knowledge and insight to communities. Secondly, we welcome papers that reflect on differences, understanding expressions of difference including gender, social class, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation and of course age, in terms of the ‘multiple positioning’ that characterises contemporary individuals. Thirdly, we invite work that reflects on the sociological imagination, or that brings an acute sociological imagination to bear on children’s lives and the position of childhood in contemporary society.

In previous years we have invited abstracts on a range of topics: childhood and gender; race, ethnicity and religion in childhood; childhood and sexuality; childhood and disability; children’s rights, citizenship and participation; generational and peer relations in children’s everyday lives; theorising childhood; discourses and social constructions of children and childhood; children as victims, witnesses and perpetrators of crime and violence; children and migration; child poverty and children’s work; methodological issues in researching children’s lives. All these topics are relevant to this year’s call, and we are interested equally in empirical, theoretical and methodological work.

Joint Session: With RN28 Society and Sports: Sport participation: means of social inclusion or social exclusion?

Sports play an important means of bringing children and young people together, yet at the same time, it can generate social exclusion. Depending on their socio-economic, cultural, ethnic or religious background, as well as sex and geographical location, children and young people's involvement in sports varies greatly.

We invite the submission of both empirical and theoretical papers addressing issues such as:

  • Inequalities sustained or challenged through sport
  • Sports as a means of social integration
  • Social exclusion and differences generated by sport and limited access to sports

Notes for authors

Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

Abstract submission deadline (extended):                                                                                        15th February 2015

Abstract submission platform:                                                                                          www.esa12thconference.eu

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org.