Academic journal, CUSP, Psychology

Introducing the journal Children and Society

Professor Sarah Crafter will soon be taking over as one of the new Editors of the journal Children & Society. Before that, she was one of the journal’s book editors. She writes about the journal and her past and future roles, with a particular emphasis on features of the journal that will be of interest to the School’s students.

I remember reading articles from Children & Society when I was a student. What attracted me to the journal was the interdisciplinary breadth of the topics, spanning theories of childhood; children’s everyday lives at home, school and in the community; children’s culture, rights and participation; children’s health and well-being; child protection, early intervention and prevention. Contributors come from disciplinary areas of psychology, childhood studies, sociology, health, international development, social work and many others. As my career progressed, I got the opportunity to meet or work with some of those names I had seen in print, which is incredibly exciting!

About eight years ago, I was invited to be a Book Editor for the journal by Dr. Lindsay O’Dell (who is now Head of the Graduate School at the Open University). At that time, she was one of the journal Editors. Up until that point, I had reviewed lots of papers for journals, but I hadn’t had much experience in being part of a team that keeps the journal going. I shared this role with Dr. Martin Robb (Open University, WELS) and together we would find books that readers of Children & Society would find interesting and then find people to read the book and write a review. The reviews are then published in each edition of the journal. 

More recently, with a team of colleagues, we applied to be the new journal editors for Children & Society. We are delighted that we were successful and we will start as the new editors in 2021. Like the journal itself, our team have an eclectic set of interests and interdisciplinary backgrounds. For those of you who know me, my broad interests are in the area of cultural-developmental psychology, with a particular focus on children and family migration. Dr. Liam Berriman from the University of Sussex has a sociological background whose work focuses on digital childhoods. Professor Deevia Bhana,  is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality studies and she is interested in childhood sexualities and teenage cultures. Dr Martin Robb works at the Open University in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS). He takes a health, social care and youth studies approach to studying parenting and masculinities.  Dr Yuwei Xu from UCL Institute of Education comes from early childhood studies arena, and examines practitioner and adult stakeholder perspectives on early childhood education. 

We are really looking forward to building on the incredible work of the current editorial team. In November, we will release our editorial vision for how we will move forward with the journal (no spoilers!). There are some aspects of the journal that remain really important to us. The first is continuing to publish high quality research on a range of contemporary issues affecting children and childhood. Children & Society has always been a journal that is attractive to academic audiences, as well being a key resource for practitioners and policy-makers working in areas of childhood and youth. The journal has always had a long-standing relationship with the National Children’s Bureau https://www.ncb.org.uk/, a charity that uses research and policy to help understand the needs of children and young people in ways that can help inform policy and practice. We consider this to be a significant strength. 

As a student, you would find Children & Society interesting in lots of ways. Perhaps you are interested in social and developmental psychology, or childhood studies more broadly. Most issues that affect adults in society, also affect children and young people in some way as well. Students of DE100, DE200 and DD803, for example, will find this journal of interest. You might also find the topics covered in Children & Society are of interest to your personal lives, especially if you are a parent or you work in sectors that link to the lives of children and young people. 

We hope you enjoy the journal!

You can read more about Sarah Crafter’s work here http://www.open.ac.uk/people/sc26683

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