Children and Youth Studies

CYS provides students with a critical understanding of how children and youth are situated in local and global development processes by approaching 'generation' as an integral social variable which intersects with others such as gender, class, and ethnicity.

Students analyse how young people influence development and social change processes as well as how development shapes various dimensions of young people’s lives. They do this by deconstructing the framing of young people in development discourses and interventions, including human capital, rights-based, actor-oriented and victimhood perspectives. They strengthen their critical awareness of the global, comparative history of childhood and youth, and of the vastly different socio-economic, cultural and political environments under which children and youth grow up.

The specialization explores issues of poverty, equity, rights and social development of young people from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on sociology, political economy, anthropology, and social history, paying particular attention to the roles of peer groups, households, schools, social media, the state, and development organizations in young people’s lives. It also draws on a range of analytical perspectives including agency, generations, intra-household relations, rights-based perspectives, life course, intersectionality, socialization, governmentality, social protection, social reproduction, and sub-cultures.

Courses and readings

For a full description of all specializations, individual courses and indicative readings, please consult Part 3 of the Academic Calendar.