© 2018

Disclosing Childhoods

Research and Knowledge Production for a Critical Childhood Studies

Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Spyros Spyrou
    Pages 1-14
  3. Spyros Spyrou
    Pages 15-51
  4. Spyros Spyrou
    Pages 53-83
  5. Spyros Spyrou
    Pages 85-115
  6. Spyros Spyrou
    Pages 117-156
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 231-241

About this book


Disclosing Childhoods offers a critical account of knowledge production in childhood studies. The book argues for the need to be reflexive about the knowledge practices of the field and to scrutinize the role of researchers in disclosing certain childhoods rather than others. A relational lens is used to critique the ongoing fixation of childhood studies with the unitary child-agent and to re-introduce the question of ontology in knowledge production.  The author provides a critical account of childhood studies’ trajectory, as well as exploring the key concepts of voice, agency and participation, illustrating the potential of a reflexive stance towards knowledge production. Drawing on poststructuralist and posthumanist thinking, each of these concepts is critiqued for its conceptual limits while productive avenues are offered to reconfigure their utility.  Spyrou also addresses the ethics and politics of knowledge production and considers key emerging insights which can contribute towards the development of a more reflexive and critical childhood studies.

Students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including childhood studies, anthropology, sociology and geography, will find this book of interest, as well as those interested in qualitative research methodology and social theory.   



anthropology youth sociology post-structuralism post-humanism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesEuropean University CyprusNicosiaCyprus

About the authors

Spyros Spyrou is Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the European University Cyprus and Director of the Center for the Study of Childhood and Adolescence.  He co-edited Children and Borders (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).  

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Disclosing Childhoods
  • Book Subtitle Research and Knowledge Production for a Critical Childhood Studies
  • Authors Spyros Spyrou
  • Series Title Studies in Childhood and Youth
  • Series Abbreviated Title Studies in Childhood and Youth
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-47903-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-69354-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-47904-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages IX, 241
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Childhood, Adolescence and Society
    Sociology of Family, Youth and Aging
    Human Geography
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This is an important contribution to the social study of childhood. Its discussion of the material-discursive turn is informed and critical, pointing the way to a proper balance between new theoretical ideas, rigorous empirical work and methodological innovation. It deserves to be read by everyone working in or studying the field.” (Alan Prout, University of Leeds, UK)

“In this aptly named book, Spyrou outlines and critically evaluates the contribution of childhood studies to producing ‘disclosures’ about childhood.  His perceptive insights encourage childhood theorists and researchers to rethink and problematize taken-for-granted concepts such as voice, agency and participation.  By providing an excellent critical reflection on the role of research in producing knowledge about children and childhood Spyrou’s book paves the way for a more critical evaluation of childhood studies and sets the scene for the discipline to engage in new ways of seeing children and their childhoods.” (Madeleine Leonard, Queen's University, Belfast, UK)

“Disclosing Childhoods is an exciting and highly welcomed contribution to new critical reflection on research and knowledge production in childhood studies. In-depth and theoretically sophisticated discussions of key concepts, such as voice, agency and participation, connected to wider debates in social sciences, provide timely rethinking and renewal of childhood studies.” (Anne Trine Kjørholt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

“This book brings a new and much welcome contribution to childhood studies. Drawing on new materialist thinking, the author offers a critical discussion of ethics and politics of research and knowledge production in childhood studies, and argues that more reflexivity and transparency regarding the ontological and epistemological premises, on which the produced knowledge is based, is needed.” (Hanna Warming, Roskilde University, Denmark)