Childhood_Studies_An_Overview_Of.pdf - C Childhood Studies An Overview of Marek Tesar University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand children within their

Childhood_Studies_An_Overview_Of.pdf - C Childhood Studies...

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C Childhood Studies, An Overview of Marek Tesar University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand Introduction Childhood studies are an emblematic concept and lens incorporating a number of approaches, disci- plines, theories, and ideas about children and childhoods. This fi eld of study encompasses both scholarship and activism and includes a phil- osophical grounding and thinking about children and childhoods. Philosophies revolve around the changing notions of how we understand childhood a shift from the biological under- standing of immaturity to an idea that childhood is socially constructed, and through various phil- osophical approaches negotiated, in any given moment in a particular society. Historical, politi- cal, economical, and geographical considerations, alongside the in uences of globalization and ide- ology, are acknowledged as fundamental driving forces of this fi eld. Particularly in the past 30 years, many disciplines have been claiming the right to de fi ne, shape, and provide an under- standing of childhood studies and to prove that their disciplinary and methodological lens leads the way for addressing studies of childhood and children. In other words, childhood studies are so broadly de fi ned that it can be argued that any studies of children and childhood that place children within their childhoods, in the center of the inquiry, are childhood studies. Some of the key notions that make childhood studies both important and relevant are their openness, inter- disciplinary, and philosophical nature. Childhood Studies Childhood studies center ideas, research, and activism around childhood and children, without essentializing or mainstreaming. Philosophy, in particular, contributes to childhood studies, adding philosophical thinking about children and childhood. Childhood studies enable many researchers to liberate themselves from develop- mental and established top-down theoretical structures about children and childhoods and allow them to consider children as social actors and to research their rights, participation, and vulnerability, just to name a few, through chil- dren s lenses. This approach is thus focused on dismantling structural ideas around children and childhoods, and re-shapes the understanding of children s power and agency, and how children can perform these notions as members of society. Thinking philosophically also allows plurality and radical openness for numerous disciplines to become part of childhood studies sociology, phi- losophy, anthropology, critical psychology, litera- ture, architecture, education, law, geography, and other disciplines and fi elds that express their claim, right, and interest to childhood studies, to # Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2016 M.A. Peters (ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory , DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_261-1
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add to this colorful and growing mosaic. The other notion that unites childhood studies is cutting- edge thinking that allows diverse, creative ways of considering children s issues and ideas, with children and by children. Furthermore, what con-
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