The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)

The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)

The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) provides a forum for the increasing number of anthropologists and other researchers broadly concerned with children and childhood. It serves as an arena in which scholars in this area can develop ideas, network, and share resources.

ACYIG also seeks to raise awareness regarding the important contributions of this growing field and it does this by, among other things, sponsoring sessions for the Annual Meeting of the AAA and distributing a biennial newsletter.

ACYIG goals include:

  • To promote and facilitate the development of anthropological scholarship pertaining specifically to children and childhood, broadly defined, and to emphasize its relationship to the development of inclusive, comparative theoretical models, as well as fieldwork methodology, for the discipline of anthropology;
  • To encourage research with child-focused perspectives which emphasize the centrality of children in cultural production, not only as objects of socialization but as social agents in their own right;
  • To engage researchers in discussion of ethical considerations particular to working with children;
  • To contribute anthropological knowledge to the interdisciplinary efforts to address the contemporary problems facing children and to establish links with other professional associations concerned with the study of children and childhood for professional collaboration in teaching, research, and scholarship;
  • To promote the professional interests of members and help produce the next generation of anthropologists whose work will influence policy in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies concerned with children’s issues.


ACYIG membership is free to members of the AAA. Just check the ACYIG interest group box when renewing or beginning your membership (for further information, go to the AAA membership page.

Join the ACYIG Listserv and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

In addition to this Website, maintained by M. Annette Grove (, a list-serv facilitates communication among the approximately 1400 ACYI members. You may join the Listserve here, just selecet ACIG-L and join in the conversation with other members.

ACYIG also maintains a Facebook page.

ACYIG History

ACYIG was launched in 2007. The initiative to form an Interest Group and to secure official standing within the American Anthropological Association was undertaken by Kristen Cheney and Susan Shepler. What was to become ACYIG first met with just a handful of people in an open meeting at the Annual Meeting of the AAA in 2008 and has grown substantially since then.

The advisory board constituted to guide the organization consisted of Myra Bluebond-Langner, David Lancy, Helen Schwartzman, and Tom Weisner as well as Cheney and Shepler. The first ACYIG Website was developed by David F. Lancy and his students at Utah State University.

The need for an interest group concerned with children and childhood centered on the fact that, despite growing interest in the area of cross-cultural research on childhood, children’s experiences, and children’s rights, there had been no established place for such work, especially outside the realm of education and health.

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