As distinctively sociological approaches to the study of childhood were debated and the novel field of childhood studies began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, generation was identified early on as a key concept for establishing this new manner of thinking in the social sciences. Jens Qvortrup (1985, 1987) was one of the first to argue the case; he wrote that in industrial society the concept of generation has acquired a broader meaning than in earlier societal formations as ‘children’ and ‘adults’ have now assumed structural attributes relative to each other. It was therefore useful, he wrote, to treat ‘childhood’ and ‘adulthood’ as structural elements in an interactive relation and childhood as a particular social status (Qvortrup, 1987, 19).


Welfare State Generational Order Generational Category Social World Social Category 
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