Historically, children were often understood in relation to their development towards adulthood, but the 'new paradigm' of childhood studies has since shown how they should be taken more seriously as active participants in their own lives. Studying childhood is not just a question of research on children, but increasingly a practice of research with them. With this 'new paradigm' having now come of age, Sally McNamee offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of childhood studies and its history. Taking a thematic approach, she looks at how issues such as rights and citizenship, the state, the family, school, work, leisure, health and globalisation shape and are shaped by children. The Social Study of Childhood is an accessible introduction for students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds such as childhood studies, sociology, psychology, social work and education. With reflection points for discussion and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, it is an engaging and stimulating account of how and why children's voices deserve to be heard in today's world.