Barrie Thorne is one pioneers of the sociology of childhood in the USA. She describes how her own childhood in a Mormon family, her feminist activism and her experience as a young mother alerted her to the way in which children were positioned in society and motivated her research focus on children. Her training in ethnomethodology and in sociological theory has remained at the heart of her research. She is concerned that childhood studies and the sociology of childhood have failed to make a strong impact in the academy and politically. She references her extensive international experience, which informs her analysis of the reasons for the persistent failure of the USA to adopt a human rights perspective in its approach to children. Professor Thorne calls for a stronger connection between childhood studies scholars and current political challenges facing children, such as poverty and exploitation by global corporations. At the theoretical level she calls for more attention to age and generation.
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