Childhood can only be understood in relation to the multitude of social factors which surround it. This accessible text explores children’s place within society through an examination of the different contexts within which a child exists. It begins by looking at the child within the family then goes on to examine the child within the educational setting, the community, the nation and the global perspective. The child's own perspective is explored, recognising children as social agents in their own right. Finally it examines the current climate, making links with Every Child Matters, and considers today's public perceptions of childhood.