Call for papers - Children in care work research: formulating a new agenda


The journal Social Studies announces a call for papers for a monothematic issue with a working title Children in care work research: formulating a new agenda. The editors of the issue are Sara Eldén (Lund University), Terese Anving (Lund University) and Adéla Souralová (Masaryk University).

Social studies/Sociální studia is a fully open-access journal, indexed in SCOPUS and ERIH PLUS. The journal is published since 2004 at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, both electronically (ISSN 1803-6104) and in print (ISSN 1214-813X). Starting in 2015, the journal accepts English-language thematic issues and contributions.

The aim of the special issue issue is to introduce a child centered perspective on research on paid private care work. Through introducing an up-to-date collection of articles that focus on an often neglected perspective in care work research - the perspective of the care-receivers themselves – this special issue will contribute to and expand on the scholarship of both global care chain research (Hochschild & Ehrenreich 2003; Anderson 2000; Macdonald 2010) and research on children and care (Brannen et al 2000; Eldén 2015).

In her influential article “The ‘Nanny Question’ in Feminism” Joan Tronto (2002) emphasizes three different perspectives through which we can approach care work: the perspectives of parents, children, and nannies. While there are many studies that focus on the perspective of employers and employees and their relationship, fewer studies pay attention to the perspective of cared-for children. During the last three decades, a new approach to children has developed in social science research, in which children are seen as social actors with their own particular viewpoint and agency. Within the so-called New Sociology of Childhood paradigm children are considered capable creating their own perspectives on social phenomena, processes, and institutions (Prout and James 1997; Christensen and James 2008).

While research on global care chains has made important contributions to the study of left-behind children, that is, children of domestic workers (Parreñas 2001), an additional child-centered focus is needed, one that also includes the perspective of the cared-for children. This means asking questions such as: What does delegated caregiving mean for the cared-for themselves? How do they conceive of the relationship between themselves and the person who takes care of them? Do they see differences between the role of, for example, a nanny and the role of a mother, a father or other relatives? What is the broader societal and cultural context of paid private care for children, and how is this related to our understandings of children’s needs and capabilities?

In particular, we welcome papers which focus on the following topics:
 Children’s perspective on paid private child care, their understanding, and sense making, of care-giving
 Children’s reflections on relationships with nannies, care-givers, domestic workers, child-minders, private daycare providers
 Parents’, nannies’, or child minders’/providers’, reflections on paid care work for children, discussing for example discourses on “what is best for children”
 Historical perspectives on children and paid care work
 Politics and policy affecting paid private care work for children focusing, e.g., on changes in family policy and politics of the welfare state, and/or the effects of international agreements (such as the UN convention on Children’s Rights)
 Methodological and ethical considerations on conducting research on/with cared-for children

We also welcome papers which go beyond this scope, especially those that benefit from an interdisciplinary approach, combining social sciences and humanities (history, pedagogy etc.). We appreciate quantitative or qualitative studies, theoretical or methodological articles. Other text genres, such as book reviews, brief conference or exhibition reports, project reports and documents, etc., are also welcome.

Abstracts (500-word maximum) should be sent to no later than March 15, 2016. We also accept articles which the authors have not announced by abstract. Publication of these articles depends on the results of the review process and the editorial decision. The deadline for full papers is September 30, 2016. Any specific questions about the special issue should be addressed to the guest editors:

Sara Eldén (
Terese Anving (
Adéla Souralová (