School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: SA-197 Semester: 4st
Course Title: Anthropology of Childhood
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 5
Course type: General Background
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: No
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: Anthropology seeks to problematize the concepts of child and childhood and draws from relevant ethnographies and cross-cultural research. By studying practices, meanings, definitions related to the concepts child and childhood, early stages of life, anthropologists study the experiences, the institutions and the key relations that frame being a child in different cultural settings. In the course of this class the student will be guided to study different practices and ideas linked to nurturing children and parenting as well different perceptions linked to socialization. More recent anthropological insights offer a critical reading of the different theories od child development, usually originating from psychology and define childhood normality. In addition, other works focus on building the appropriate methodology in order to include children in the research process as interlocutors and agents. Student will also learn about the first anthropological works that were insightful, how race, gender, ethnicity and class come at play and how globalization, capitalism, consumerism inform conceptualisations and institutions linked to childhood. Children at risk and children’s rights will also be discussed.
    After the successful completion of the course students will be able to:
    – To know the field of the anthropology of childhood
    – To comprehend the multiplicity and different norms and anticipations surrounding children and childhood in different cultural settings, related to different approaches of nurturing and parenting.
    – To understand and critically problematize the on-going cross-disciplinary discussions regarding the dipole nature/nurture
    – To identify ethnographic fields of study linked to the anthropology of childhood.

    General Competences: 

    Working Independently
    Production of new research ideas
    Criticism and self-criticism
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking

    (3) SYLLABUS

    1. Introduction to the course
    2. Theoretical approaches of childhood
    3. The first anthropological works
    4. Infancy in different cultural contexts
    5. Critically approaching and studying different practices and ideas regarding nurturing and parenting.
    6. The first years.
    7. Discussing the nature/nurture dichotomy
    8. Ethnographic examples of children’s socialization through play, work, schooling environments.
    9. Politics of childhood – Race, gender, ethnicity, class.
    10. Globalisation, capitalism, consumerism and childhood
    11. Children at risk (street children, war, poverty)
    12. Children’s rights
    13. Towards an anthropology of childhood


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ICT in teaching and communication with students
    Student have access on EClass.
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 40
    Practice in class 20
    Individual Study 62
    Exams 3
    Course total: 125
    Student performance evaluation: Language of Evaluation: Greek
    Methods of Evaluation: Written examination at the end of the semester

    Specifically-defined evaluation criteria are given in the beginning of the semester


    In Greek

    – Μακρυνιώτη Δήμητρα. 1997 (επιμ.). Παιδική ηλικία. Εκδόσεις Νήσος
    – Αυδίκος Γρ. Βαγγέλης. 2012. Παιδική Ηλικία και διαβατήριες τελετές. Εκδόσεις Πεδίο
    – Aries Philippe. 1990. Αιώνες παιδικής ηλικίας. Εκδόσεις Γλάρος
    – Δασκαλάκη Ήβη. 2009. “Παιδική και εφηβική εργασία “στο δρόμο”. Εθνογραφικές προσεγγίσεις στους δρόμους της Αθήνας”. Αριάνδη. Επιστημονικό περιοδικό της φιλοσοφικής σχολής. Τόμος 15ος, σελ. 267-304.
    – Δασκαλάκη Ήβη. 2010. “Μεθοδολογικά και επιστημολογικά ζητήματα στην επιτόπια έρευνα “με παδιά”: Εθνογραφικές εμπειρίες από έναν καταυλισμό Τσιγάννων στην Αθήνα» Στο Ποιοτική Έρευνα στην Ψυχολογία και την Εκπαίδευση. Επιστημολογικά, μεθοδολογικά και ηθικά ζητήματα. Πούρκος Μ.Α & Δαφέρμος Μ (επ.). Εκδόσεις Τόπος.
    – Τσίγκρα Μένη. 2010. «Δυνατότητες, όρια και εφαρμογές των ποιοτικών εθνογραφικών προσεγγίσεων της παιδικής ηλικίας» Στο Ποιοτική Έρευνα στην Ψυχολογία και την Εκπαίδευση. Επιστημολογικά, μεθοδολογικά και ηθικά ζητήματα. Πούρκος Μ.Α & Δαφέρμος Μ (επ.). Εκδόσεις Τόπος.

    In English

    – Hirshfeld L.A. 2002. Why don’t anthropologists like children? American Anthropologist 104(2): 611-627.
    – LeVine R.A. 2007. Ethnographic studies of childhood: A historical overview. American Anthropologist 109(2): 247-260.
    – Lancy D.F. 2008. The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, and Changelings. Cambridge: Cambridge.
    – Lancy D.F. 2012. Why Anthropology of Childhood? A brief history of an emerging discipline. AnthropoChildren. (French Studies in the Anthropology of Childhood) Vol. 1, #1,
    – Montgomery H. 2008. Αn Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives. Wiley- Blackwell.
    – LeVine R.A. 2008. Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Blackwell Anthologies in Social & Cultural Anthropology.
    – Weisner, T.S., 2015. Childhood: Anthropological Aspects. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 3. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 451–458.

    – Related academic journals:

    American Anthropologist