Theorising Children’s Bodies. A Critical Review of Relational Understandings in Childhood Studies

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


This chapter takes a relational understanding of agency as its starting point in order to systematise up-to-date approaches to reconceptualising the body in childhood studies. Starting from the observation that childhood studies has long had difficulty with the theorisation of the body, empirical studies are presented that approach the child’s body from the perspective of science and technology studies, of practice theory and of phenomenology. The thesis of the chapter is that the yield of a theorisation of the body is not limited to this, but, at the same time, helps to overcome common dichotomies in childhood studies between childhood as a social construct and children as actors. These can be dissolved in favour of a concept of childhood that is both material and social.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Eßer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HildesheimHildesheimGermany

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