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Children as Agents in Their Worlds: A Psychological – Relational Perspective

The definition of agencyA new interest in agencyChildren's agencyProblematising child agencyUnresolved issuesWhy this book? Confronting unproductive tensions between disciplinesThe structure of this bookThe concept of agency in childhood studiesSociology and agency: the tension between structure and agencySocialisation theoriesChildren as social actorsContemporary approaches to theorising agency within childhood studiesSimple agency: agency asserted and exemplifiedEssentialist agency: agency as an individual capacitySocial agency: socially enabled or constrainedPost-modern agency: distributed and fluidDeployment of the concept of agency in childhood studiesInterrogating the politics of childhood agencyConclusionTheorising agencyPhilosophical perspectivesThe rise of neuroscientific explanationsSociology and the structure versus agency debateThe work of GiddensEmirbayer and a social view of agencyBourdieu and the social structuring of agencyPsychological contributionsBandura and self-efficacyThe contribution of developmental theoristsThe new psychology of personhoodA theoretical convergence?The development of children’s agencySelf-directed activity and the emergence of intentional actionPerspective-taking, intersubjectivity and non-verbal communicationLanguageSelf-regulation, identity and moralityConclusionChildren’s agency within familiesIntroductionThe child as a source of effect within familiesChildren’s agency as autonomyChildren’s agency as constructionChildren’s agency as actionTheorising children’s agency within the familyConclusionChildren’s agency in school and with peersIntroductionFormal schooling and standardised childhoodChildren’s agency in school contexts and child-centred pedagogyAgency and training for citizenshipEducational inequality and agency-related constructsAppropriation of peer culture and children’s agencyConclusionChildren’s agency in the public sphere: Rights and participationIntroductionChildren’s rightsPromoting rights to participation and protectionProblems with the UNCRC – implementationProblems with the UNCRC – ideological and cultural biasesLinking rights discourses to the new social studies of childhoodParticipation in practiceIssues in relation to ‘the voice of the child’Children as citizensChildren as consumersGeneral underestimation of children?ConclusionAgency and diversity: Variation in the expression of agency by childrenLooking at DiversityAge differencesSex and gender differencesChildren with disabilitiesClass, cultural and geographical differencesReasons for differences in the enactment of agencyExamining diversity generates many definitions and typologiesPower and the capacity to do what is chosenConclusionsA theoretical synthesisAgency misunderstoodCritical perspectives on the promotion of child agencyRelational theories and the ontology of ‘the child’Adding the developmental, psychological dimensionsAdding powerSo what is children’s agency?A cross-disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary approach to agencyIn conclusion

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