Child, childhood(s), children: which objective to give to the childhood social science?

The childhood designates a polysemic concept that remits a multiplicity of dimensions or fields. If this concept is reduced to the term "child", it enters in the psychological field; the term "childhood" in the demographic field, which also reveals to be of economic order; if it talks about "child" it enters in the properly anthropologic or socio-anthropological field. The area that this last dimension defines constitutes the real susceptible object of being broached to the social sciences, regarding this level of population. The researches referring to this subject demand proper methods. With regards to the inter subjective moment related to the society, this corresponds to the level of micro-sociological analysis; such methods may demand from the researcher that he "becomes a child" in order to be able to reconstitute through imagination the universe of children cultures, regarding the institutional, social moment, corresponding to the level of macro-sociological analysis. It has to be taken into consideration the structural phenomena particularly those which concern the domination that affects the children as well as other age population, that subscribe to a historical perspective. This process of general structure is also applied to the child universe; it is the one which constitutes the heuristic key of all research about this universe.

Domination; Children; History; Method; Structure

Centro de Estudos Educação e Sociedade - Cedes Av. Berttrand Russel, 801 - Fac. de Educação - Anexo II - 1 andar - sala 2, CEP: 13083-865, +55 12 99162 5609, Fone / Fax: + 55 19 3521-6710 / 6708 - Campinas - SP - Brazil