Who is A Child?: The Adults’ Perspective within Adult-Child Relationship in India


  • Rachita Bisht


Based on the assumption that childhood is a social construct, this qualitative study explores how children across ages, are perceived by adults. Using modified grounded theory approach, seven adults, teachers by profession, were informally interviewed over several sessions, supplemented by TAT-like picture cards. Theoretical coding led to the extraction of the following key themes. To begin with, participants divided  childhood into several phases, each characterized by distinct adult-child relationship and interaction. Secondly, compared to earlier times, children of today were seen as maturing faster along with greater democratization in adult-child relationships. And finally, analysis of social position of children in participants’ interviews showed that children were being perceived using an ideology of dependency and incompetency that manifested in various marginalizing practices within adult-child relationship.

Author Biography

Rachita Bisht, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences