"…'Child' is itself not an uncomplicated term."

Boswell, John. 1988. The Kindness of Strangers. New York: Pantheon Books.
line decor
line decor

Special Issue of
Anthropology News
on Childhood!


Anthropology News In Focus Archive, 49(4)

This AN issue features two In Focus commentary series on Children and Childhood. "Transforming the Anthropology of Childhood" examines new ways of thinking about childhood and children's roles and experiences that move beyond the traditional limits of our discipline, and between subdisciplines...read more

Children in the News

destitute child Our Children in the News section is intended to highlight isolated
developments that might signal important trends in the nature of children's


Kids in America now pack on pounds compared to 1950's: In the 1950s, kids had three cups of milk for every cup of soda. Today that ratio is reversed, meaning they get all the calories and none of the nutrients ..... read more

Growth in Rural America fueled by Hispanic Births: Births, not immigration, now account for most of the growth in the nation’s Hispanic population, a distinct reversal of trends of the past 30 years..... read more

Child Jockies race along the Stepps of Central Asia: Genghis Khan and his army once rode their horses across the steppes of Central Asia. Once again, horses race, literally, across those same steppes..... read more

African Crucible cast as Witches, and cast out: Domingos Pedro was only 12 years old when his father died. The passing was sudden; the cause was a mystery to doctors. ..... read more

Manufacturers Expand Market from Teens to Tots: Growing concern about childrens overuse of cell phones and their saftey is propmting Jappanese officials to concider an initiative to govern cell phones..... read more

12% of Schools are 'Dropout Factories': More than one in 10 high schools across America can now be called “Dropout Factories”—high schools which graduate no more than 60 percent of the students..... read mor

View more articles


About The Organization

Anthropology of Children and Childhood Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association

….was launched in 2007. The initiative to form an Interest Group and to secure official standing was undertaken by Kristen Cheney from the University of Dayton and Susan Shepler from American University. This website was developed and is maintained by David F. Lancy and his students at Utah State University.

In the submission seeking Interest Group status these goals were put forth:

1. The Anthropology of Children & Childhood Interest Group will serve as a forum for interested scholars to meet, network, collaborate, and communicate about their work. Its goals are…

To promote and facilitate the development of anthropological scholarship pertaining specifically to children and childhood, broadly defined, and to emphasize its relationship to the development of inclusive, comparative theoretical models, as well as fieldwork methodology, for the discipline of anthropology;

To encourage research with child-focused perspectives which emphasize the centrality of children in cultural production, not only as objects of socialization but as social agents in their own right;

To engage researchers in discussion of ethical considerations particular to working with children;

To contribute anthropological knowledge to the interdisciplinary efforts to address the contemporary problems facing children and to establish links with other professional associations concerned with the study of children and childhood for professional collaboration in teaching, research, and scholarship;

To promote the professional interests of members and help produce the next generation of anthropologists whose work will influence policy in both governmental and non-governmental agencies concerned with children’s issues.

2. The need for an interest group concerned with children and childhood centers on the fact that, despite growing interest in the area of cross-cultural research on childhood, children’s experiences, and children’s rights, there is currently no established place for such work, especially outside the realm of education. In contrast to the Council on Anthropology & Education, which concerns itself solely with studies on learning and schooling, members of the Anthropology of Children & Childhood Interest Group will explore a broad variety of the social realms children inhabit as well as the ways children interact with and influence those realms.

The Anthropology of Children & Childhood Interest Group will advocate for members who are developing this vital yet neglected field. It will provide a forum for the increasing number of anthropologists and other researchers broadly concerned with children and childhood to develop ideas, network, and share resources in this growing field.

3. Members will meet to discuss the development of interest group bylaws at AAA annual meetings. Future conveners and other officers will be selected by a well-defined nomination and member voting process defined by the membership itself.

4. A board has been constituted to guide the organization in its formative period. Board members include, besides Cheney, Shepler and Lancy, Helen Schwartzmann from Northwestern. Myra Bluebond from Rutgers—Camden and Tom Weisner from UCLA.

4. The Interest Group met in an open meeting at AAA in 2007 and will do so again in 2008.  (November 22nd: 12:15 to­ 1:30 PM Room: Continental Parlor 2). The AAACCIG has also sponsored a roundtable session at AAA (November 19th: 4:00 to 5:45PM Room: Taylor B)

5. A List-Serv facilitates communication among the approximately 500 AAACCIG adherents. Contact shepler@american.edu for further information. Other plans include the establishment of a semiannual newsletter to highlight new research and publications, grant opportunities, upcoming conferences and events, and other information pertinent to membership.