Working the Boundaries of Childhood

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Working the Boundaries of Childhood

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Title Working the Boundaries of Childhood
Author(s) Dahlbeck, Johan
Date 2010
English abstract
Research topic/aim: This paper describes an ongoing research project that is framed by overarching questions such as: what are the guardians of the boundaries of childhood; how do these guardians function on a discursive level; and what, more specifically, are some of their safeguarding practices? Theoretical framework: Working from the assumption that we make use of pre-existing forms of continuity to make sense of the human condition, the focus of the present study is toinvestigate how the specific continuity of childhood is being told and retold through techniques labelled safeguarding practices. Theoretically the paper is informed by the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, especially focusing on his critique on representation. Methodology/research design: More specifically, the purpose of the paper is to investigate the mutual constitution of childhood and adulthood via a study on these techniques as employed in universal documents on children’s rights. As such, the methodology used is a form of discursive analysis focusing on certain narrative strands that seem to reappear from document to document. The investigated documents in focus are: the Declaration of the Rights of the Child of Geneva (1924), the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Furthermore, I will trace some of presuppositions about childhood as they reappear in material produced within the children’s right discourse and intended for Swedish preschool and school contexts. Expected conclusions/findings: Some of the tentative findings include the dichotomization of childhood and adulthood and the intertwining fates of the child and the state. Relevance for Nordic Educational research: I believe this research topic to be relevant for Nordic Educational research as it attempts to investigate the boundaries of childhood, looking closer at universal documents that are very much an influential presence felt within the national educational discourses of the Nordic countries.
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Host/Issue Abstracts, Active Citizenship; abstract 40
Pages 39-39
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Universal childhood
Logic of difference
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education
Note NERA's 38th Congress - Active Citizenship (Nordisk Förening för Pedagogisk Forskning) 11-13 March 2010 Malmö University School of Teacher Education, Malmö, Sweden
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