2023-2024 / ANTH2228-1

Anthropology of childhood and children


30h Th, 6h Pr, 30h FW

Number of credits

 Master in population and development studies (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Master in sociology and anthropology (60 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Advanced Master in Gender Studies5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of social sciences)6 crédits 
 Master in education (120 ECTS)6 crédits 


Elodie Razy

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The anthropology of childhood and children has been constructed in different ways according to academic traditions (the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc.). New trends are emerging, especially in Latin America, which contribute towards the short history of this developing field. We will look at this and then focus on different themes and/or approaches (social and cultural construction of the child, status of children, child development, daily life, education and socialization, marginalised children, the concept of the "child-actor", child cultures, the concept of "agency", the position of the child in the cycle of life, etc.) in light of work conducted in various societies both in the South and the North. We will deal with various contexts as well institutional  ones (school, children homes, etc.) as families in their contemporary diversity.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Students will acquire a good historical knowledge of this developing field and the reasons why it has developed differently in the US, Great Britain and France as well as emerging trends. Based on examples studied in class, during conferences and in texts they have read, they will know how to develop an anthropological position in the field of childhood. They will also be able to carry out ethnographic fieldwork, reconstruct and analyse the ethnographic data produced using the theoretical tools of the anthropology of childhood studied.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The course will start with an introduction to the anthropological approach.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Classes, conferences, videos, student presentations, discussions and debates, reading, ethnographic fieldwork.
I strongly recommend that students read the compulsory book (Godelier, M. 2004 "Au fondement des Sociétés humaines. Ce que nous apprend l'anthropologie", Paris: Albin Michel) before or at the beginning of the course.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Compulsory readings, conferences, films, etc.

See "course materials"

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Additional information:

Students will do practical exercises (questions on the texts, ethical situation, seminar) and will write a final report based on their ethnographic fieldwork and the material they have read (instructions, assessment methods and criteria concerning these exercises are available on "course material" and explained in class).

- Participation (20%)

- Ethical question (30%)

- Final report (50%)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Compulsory sessions with a student monitor will be organised.


Students can arrange to see me by appointment.
Office 2.36 (B31)

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online


Texts & instructions
Texts & instructions