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Children's Lives in Southern Europe

Contemporary Challenges and Risks Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Founding Member, Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence Group (GSIA), Secretary, Committee of Sociology of Childhood (FES) and Co-director, Sociedad e Infancias Journal, Spain, Yannis Pechtelidis, Associate Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Thessaly, Greece, Catarina Tomás, Assistant Professor, Lisbon Polytechnic Institute and Researcher, Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA), Portugal and Natália Fernandes, Assistant Professor, University of Minho and Researcher, Research Center on Child Studies (CIEC), Portugal
This interdisciplinary book provides a sociological view of the contemporary experiences of children in Southern Europe. Focusing on regions deeply affected by the 2008 economic crisis, it offers a detailed investigation into the impact of economic downturn and austerity on the lives of children.
Extent: c 272 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: February 2020
ISBN: 978 1 78990 123 8
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78990 124 5

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  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Migration
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Welfare States
This interdisciplinary book provides a sociological view of the contemporary experiences of children in Southern Europe. Focusing on regions deeply affected by the 2008 economic crisis, it offers a detailed investigation into the impact of economic downturn and austerity on the lives of children.
Established childhood studies and sociology researchers unpack recent changes in the quality of children’s lives and our understanding of children’s rights in the modern world. Focusing first on contemporary changes to children’s forms of living, the book then turns to the prevalence of poverty in Southern Europe, before scrutinising the experiences of migrant and highly mobile children. Illustrating these experiences with key case studies from across Southern Europe, this book presents a powerful critique of the promises and pitfalls of structural changes to children-centred public policy.
This informative book is essential reading for academics and higher-level students of childhood studies. Policy makers and practitioners in education, law, health, social services and children’s rights organizations in need of strong, empirical research into childhood experiences will appreciate the thorough case studies analysed in the book.
‘Children's Lives in Southern Europe is an insightful, well-written, and timely volume focusing on a neglected but radically changing region of Europe. The diverse chapters provide comprehensive discussion of children’s lives and agency at the macro and micro level with important insights for social policy. A ground-breaking work in childhood studies.’
– William A. Corsaro, Author of The Sociology of Childhood and We’re Friends, Right?: Inside Kids’ Culture

‘This book offers an essential contribution to understanding the challenges faced by children in Southern Europe through the years of “austerity” and the “refugee crisis”. The four editors combine a deep understanding of their own countries with a powerful theoretical orientation to taking children seriously as social actors and as citizens. The combination of detailed contextual information with vivid case studies is a real strength. For anyone with an interest in the reality of childhood, and the prospects for children’s lives, in Southern Europe this will be an invaluable source of information and ideas.’
– Nigel Patrick Thomas, University of Central Lancashire, UK

‘This book presents a rich and stimulating collection of contributions on a neglected focus in the English speaking world. The chapters provide a fresh and rewarding exploration of children’s lives in Southern Europe; especially children’s well-being, experiences of migration and poverty. The book draws on theory, primary and secondary data and will be an invaluable resource for students wishing to understand childhood in the Mediterranean arena.’
– Tom Cockburn, Edge Hill University, UK

‘This book, with its focus on four Southern European countries, is an important addition to research literature on childhood. The authors’ aim to come to terms with the inevitable impact on childhood of economic recession, poverty, migration and other shared structures is very enlightening. The display of an array of methodological approaches is of great interest and the way it makes sense of a macro-orientation without losing sight of children’s agency is highly instructive. The book is most welcome and vastly recommended.’
– Jens Qvortrup, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Contributors include: R. Barn, E. Brey, G. de Pina Trevisan, L. del Moral-Espín, R.T. Di Rosa, N. Fernándes, L. Gaitán, M. González-Serrano, A. Kiliari, F. Kougioumoutzaki, S. Mateus, A. Nunes de Almeida, S. Pantazidis, Y. Pechtelidis, V. Ramos, M. Sánchez-Domínguez, M.J. Sarmento, C. Satta, T. Seabra, A.G. Stamou, M.T. Tagliaventi, C. Tomás

1. Introduction
Lourdes Gaitán

PART I Current changes in children’s forms of living
2. Introduction to Part I
Catarina Tomás

3. Family and Childhood: The impact of the crisis in the case of Greece
Foteini Kougioumoutzaki

4. Institutionalization and familization of childhood through leisure/sport activities in today’s Italy
Caterina Satta

5. Changes to children’s forms of living in contemporary Portugal
Ana Nunes de Almeida and Vasco Ramos

6. Intergenerational solidarity in times of crisis: new relationships between children and grandparents in Spain
Lourdes Gaitán and María Sánchez-Domínguez

PART II Child poverty and children’s well-being in Southern Europe
7. Introduction to Part II
Natália Fernándes

8. Poverty, well-being, and educational opportunities for children in contemporary Greece: The cases of two afterschool programs
Yannis Pechtelidis and Stelios Pantazidis

9. An overview from Italy. Poorest of all... Roma children
Maria Teresa Tagliaventi

10. Child poverty in Portugal: the crisis in children’s perspectives
Manuel Sarmento and Gabriela Trevisan

11. Austerity and children's well-being in Spain: A capability approach perspective
Lucía del Moral-Espín and Mónica Domínguez-Serrano

PART III Migrant children and children on the move
12. Introduction to Part III
Yannis Pechtelidis

13. Language education policy discourses on refugee children: Evidence from the Greek context
Anastasia G. Stamou and Angeliki Kiliari

14. Unaccompanied minors in Sicily: Promoting conceptualizations of child well-being through children’s own subjective realities
Ravinder Barn, Roberta Teresa Di Rosa and Gabriella Argento

15. Migrant children in the Portuguese schools: the case of Brazilian pupils
Teresa Seabra and Sandra Mateus

16. Migrant children and local policies regarding reunified children in Spain
Elisa Brey

PART V Conclusions
17. Conclusions
Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes

L. del Moral-Espín