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This book explores and charts the relation of dialectical critical realist concepts to many of the aspects of childhood. By demonstrating their relevance and value to each other, Alderson presents an introductory guide to applied critical realism for researchers, lecturers and students invloved in the study of childhood. Each chapter summarises key themes from several academic disciplines and policy areas, combining adults " and children "s reported views and experiences and filtering them through a critical realist analysis. The first four chapters deal with the more personal aspects of childhood, while the second half of the book widens the scope to include the impact of political decisions on children. Each chapter demonstrates how children are an integral part of the whole of society and are often especially affected by policies and events. Through developing the dialectical critical realist analysis of childhood and youth this book will interest critical realists more in childhood, and childhood researchers and policy advisers more in critical realism.