Berry Mayall, Professor of Childhood Studies

BerryMayall2As one of the people working on the sociology of childhood from its early days in the 1980s, I recently built on that knowledge and experience to write a history of the movement. This includes contributions from some of the key players, such as Jens Qvortrup and Priscilla Alderson, as well as outlines of recent developments in other disciplines, such as anthropology and geography (A History of the Sociology of Childhood, London: Institute of Education Press, 2013).

My most recent book is Childhood with Bourdieu (Alanen, Brooker and Mayall, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2015). This brought together an international group of 13 scholars, all experienced in working with the concepts developed by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, to consider the usefulness of these concepts for understanding childhoods, in a range of societies.

I am currently engaged mainly on two kinds of work. The first is that I have a contract to write a book on English childhoods at the start of the twentieth century (Palgrave Macmillan). This aims to address a gap in the literature on the start of state education: what it was like being a  child at the time, and where did school fit in with family and social and economic  life. The book will be published in 2017.

The second piece of work builds on a book that Virginia Morrow and I wrote in 2011, about children’s contributions to the war effort in 1939-45. The aim now is to use materials from the book to produce a package for primary school teachers to use when working with children on aspects of that war. I am collaborating on this venture with staff in the publications department. (You Can Help Your Country: English children’s work during the Second World War, London: Institute of Education Press, 2011).

Latest publication: Alanen, L., Brooker, E. and Mayall, B. (Eds) Childhood with Bourdieu. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Get in touch or read more on my institutional profile.