Much academic work on families and households has focused in the past on the adult members. However, a surge of interest in children's issues has occurred recently in the social sciences. A key theoretical assumption in this area of research is that children's relationships and cultures are worthy of study in their own right and that children play an active part in the construction of these cultures and relationships.; This work provides perspectives on children in their family contexts. It shows that children's needs and wishes have often been neglected in the social sciences, especially in the areas of law, social policy and sociology. The authors present empirical research on children and young people in contemporary family settings and offer theoretical insights which challenge existing thinking on modern childhood. They draw on international comparisons between the condition of childhood and children's welfare, putting forward an argument for future research and policy initiatives needing to concentrate on, and even privilege, children.