Discursive Tensions on the Landscape of Modern Childhood

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Discursive Tensions on the Landscape of Modern Childhood

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Discursive Tensions on the Landscape of Modern Childhood
Author(s) Ryan, Patrick J.
Date 2011
English abstract
This text was delivered as a plenary lecture at the conference Barndom och ungdom i förändring (Childhood and Youth in Transition: Discipline and unrest in the modern welfare state) on October 29, 2010 at Malmo University, Sweden. It offers a diagram for visualizing modern childhood as a product of the discursive tensions between four dominant figures: the conditioned child, the authentic child, the developing child, and the political child. The lecture focuses on the creative dynamics between conditioning and authenticity as they appeared in the 17th through the 19th-centuries in Anglo-American discourse. It argues that a search for the conditions of authenticity through childhood became manifest in the disciplinary practices of institutions for children’s education and care. The resulting generative tensions were important for constructing the landscape of modern childhood as a whole. Finally, it suggests that the tensions between romantic authenticity and rational conditioning continue to provide a significant discursive framework for contemporary child rights talk.
Publisher Lärande och samhälle, Malmö högskola
Host/Issue Educare;2
ISSN 1653-1868
Pages 11-38
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) childhood
discursive formation
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12503 (link to this page)

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