Children and Childhood through A Genealogical Lens

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2020) | Viewed by 22745

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Education and Psychology, University of Suffolk, Ipswich IP4 1QJ, UK
Interests: children; childhoods; social policy; participatory research approaches with children; intercountry adoption

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this special issue of Genealogy, we invite scholars to consider the changing lived experiences of children and diversities of childhood over time. Social constructions of childhood remain dynamic, socially relative and historically contingent, yet they retain a recurring interest on the part of the nation state to perceive children as both investment and threat. Shaping childhood has thus been, and continues to be a political, social and cultural endeavour. The intersection of childhood with multiple social and political institutions can provide insight into how childhood and children have historically been positioned and how such genealogical positioning continues to inform childhood and the lives of children today.  We seek papers that highlight changed and changing ideas about children and childhood not only within formal and informal institutions where childhood is situated such as school and the family, but also in relation to certain themes such as technology, sexuality, migration and war.

Some potential themes to consider in this edition include but are not limited to:

  • Children, childhood and technology
  • Children, childhood and political change
  • Children, childhood and the state
  • Children, childhood, migration and belonging
  • Children and childhood in times of conflict and war 
  • Historical social constructions of childhood
  • Children and families
  • The role of children in society
  • The schooled child
  • The psychological child
  • Theoretical discussions of key concepts in childhood
  • Genealogies of the ‘new’ sociology of childhood

Dr. Sarah Richards
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • children
  • childhood
  • youth
  • discourse
  • history
  • sociology
  • social policy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
The Power of the Pregnant Body: Perspectives of Agency and Autonomy in Pregnancy
by Maureen Haaker
Genealogy 2021, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010013 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6444
Abstract
This paper reviews the literature on pregnancy, examining two dominant discourses: “the pregnant body as foetal containment” and “the pregnant body as illness”. A third discourse, which looks at the complex ways in which the pregnant body is used as a site of [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the literature on pregnancy, examining two dominant discourses: “the pregnant body as foetal containment” and “the pregnant body as illness”. A third discourse, which looks at the complex ways in which the pregnant body is used as a site of agency and autonomy, is also presented. Rather than viewing the pregnant body as solely a condition which compromises women’s subjectivity and places them within strict boundaries of societal structures, this overview argues for seeing the more complex and nuanced ways in which women negotiate power through their bodies and considers how the pregnant body is a site of agency for women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Childhood through A Genealogical Lens)
13 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Everybody’s Child: An Exploration of Images of Children that Shocked the World
by Sarah Richards
Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030073 - 7 Jul 2020
Viewed by 3030
Abstract
Despite the passivity and vulnerability of childhood as a social construction, the image of the child is both powerful and transformative. Such is the power of images of the child they can and have shaped the history of nation states, shifted policy and [...] Read more.
Despite the passivity and vulnerability of childhood as a social construction, the image of the child is both powerful and transformative. Such is the power of images of the child they can and have shaped the history of nation states, shifted policy and become emblematic of a cry for change. In journalism, filmmaking, and news media the child can become the symbol of a nation, a conflict, a tragedy and the failure of policy, or indeed the adult world, to care and protect childhood itself. Using evocative images from across the 20th and 21st century, this paper interrogates how idealised notions of childhood become focal and challenged by images which reveal the death, deprivation and destruction of children. The image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body on a Turkish Beach in 2015 resonated around the world. It became the biggest trending photo on Twitter within 24 h and graced the front of hundreds of global newspapers the following day. It also demanded a political response, as presidents and prime ministers scrambled to hold press conferences and generate policy to respond to the Syrian and wider so-called Mediterranean crisis. This is just a recent example in a long line of iconic images of ‘the child’ that have shaped policy and shifted hearts and minds. The power and influence of these photographs is traced here to highlight where the discursive vulnerability of a single child becomes emblematic of the failures of the powerful: adults, governments, nation states, and global governance. Using the examples of famine stricken South Sudan (1993) and the ‘migrant crisis’ of the Mediterranean Sea (2015), how these hitherto anonymous children briefly become everybody’s child is explored here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Childhood through A Genealogical Lens)
12 pages, 205 KiB  
Article
“For Me, They Were the Good Old Days”: Retrospective Narratives of Childhood Experiences in ‘the Gang’
by Dev Rup Maitra
Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030071 - 1 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2891
Abstract
Much of the existing scholarship on gang membership predominantly focuses on adolescence as being the formative time period for the development of gang identities; however, there has thus far been more limited attention towards the childhood experiences of gang members, (i.e., pre-adolescence). The [...] Read more.
Much of the existing scholarship on gang membership predominantly focuses on adolescence as being the formative time period for the development of gang identities; however, there has thus far been more limited attention towards the childhood experiences of gang members, (i.e., pre-adolescence). The organising principle of this paper is to articulate the retrospective accounts of gang members’ childhoods, and how these recollections form a central role to the emergence of gang identities. The data presented in this paper were collected during fieldwork in two adult, men’s prisons in England; interviews were conducted with 60 active and former prison gang members, identified through prison databases; a small number (n = 9) of interviews were conducted with ‘street’ participants, such as ex-offenders, outreach workers and gang researchers. This paper aims to show that many gang members romanticise accounts of their childhoods, in spite of often having experienced adverse childhood experiences:, so too do many gang members view their childhood experiences as part of their mythologised narrative of life in ‘the gang’. Nevertheless, a tension exists between how gang members seek to portray their childhood experiences around gangs and the negative labelling and strain they experienced during their childhood; often, romanticised accounts seek to retrospectively neutralise these harms. In so doing, the lens through which childhood gang membership is viewed is one which conceptualises childhood gang involvement as being something non-deleterious, thus acting as a lens that attempts to neutralise the harms and vicissitudes of gang affiliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Childhood through A Genealogical Lens)
17 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Looked After Children: The Reluctant State and Moral Salvation
by Mark Cronin
Genealogy 2019, 3(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3020016 - 6 Apr 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 9810
Abstract
Over the past fifty years, public care for children in England has undergone a significant transformation moving almost exclusively towards foster care as the preferred mode of delivery. The most recent data from the Department for Education for the year ending 31 March [...] Read more.
Over the past fifty years, public care for children in England has undergone a significant transformation moving almost exclusively towards foster care as the preferred mode of delivery. The most recent data from the Department for Education for the year ending 31 March 2018, reported that 73% of all Looked After Children (LAC) were placed in foster care with just 8% in residential placements. Compared to an almost even split of 45% of children in Foster Care (or ‘boarded out’) and 42% of children in residential care in 1966, the scale of this shift becomes apparent. This transformation has taken place in the context of a social policy discourse promoted by successive governments, which has privileged foster care as the most suitable place for children needing out-of-home public care. The main argument in this article is that the rationale for the state’s growing interest in children (in particular those children who are considered a social problem) and the emerging social policy solutions, i.e., foster care, are driven by particular political and economic agendas which have historically paid little attention to the needs of these children and young people. This article explores the relationship between the state, the child and their family and the drivers for this transformation in children’s public care making use of a genealogical approach to identify the key social, political and historical factors, which have provided the context for this change. It examines the increasing interest of the state in the lives of children and families and the associated motivation for the emerging objectification of children. The role of the state in locating the family as the ideal place for children’s socialisation and moral guidance will be explored, with a focus on the political and economic motivations for privileging foster care. Consideration will also be paid to the potential implications of this transformation for children and young people who require public care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Childhood through A Genealogical Lens)
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