Reference : Das Kind als soziale Form. Ein unbeabsichtigter Beitrag zur Kindheitssoziologie. Über...
Scientific journals : Book review
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Das Kind als soziale Form. Ein unbeabsichtigter Beitrag zur Kindheitssoziologie. Über: David Klett (2013), Die Form des Kindes. Kind, Familie, Gesellschaftsstruktur.
[de] The child as social form. An unintended contribution to childhood sociology
Honig, Michael-Sebastian mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Sozialwissenschaftliche Literatur Rundschau
Verlag neue praxis
David Klett, Die Form des Kindes. Kind, Familie Gesellschaftsstruktur. Weilerswist: Velbrück 2013
56112 Lahnstein
[en] childhood sociology ; theory of the family ; book review
[en] David Klett has written a contribution to a systems theory of the family which put the child at
the centre, or more concretely: the child is seen as a form of the communication of the family.
At first glance, and from the perspective of the sociology of childhood, this approach seems to
be an extension of the marginalization of the child in sociology and as such seems to be a backlash against the arguments for »a conceptual autonomy of the child« made in the sociology of childhood in the late 70s. However, this program in the sociology of childhood to foreground
›the child‹ as an autonomous concept suffers from a serious lack of clarity partly because it
mixes a knowledge-critical methodology with advocating for a particular form of naturalism.
To recognize/acknowledge the child as a person in its own right this approach places the child
beyond family and socialisation. It is clear that this leads to unsatisfying consequences: Social
scientific childhood research experiences difficulties with theorising the process of growing up,
the family is overlooked or left out as a context in children’s lives, and it is paralysed when it
comes to conceptualising the difference between babies and school children. This review argues
that Klett’s approach offers a way out of this cul de sac. His overarching question is how does a
society make it possible for families to include the body and psyche of a child? From the point
of view of the sociology of childhood he does not work with the subsumption of the child under
the family but asks »How and in which form is a child, is childhood possible?« and he answers
with an analysis of the familial mode of the sociality of the child. Therefore Klett’s study is not
a further example of the marginalization of children. Rather he reformulates the question of
childhood in sociology and hence varies the program of the conceptual autonomy of the child. In
such a way he generates a productive impulse for childhood studies. Klett’s book is also relevant for analyzing the relationship between childhood studies and educational science.

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