Understanding Children’s Citizenship

James, Allison (2011) To Be (Come) or Not to Be (Come): Understanding Children’s Citizenship The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 633: 167

“This article explores notions of the “child as citizen” and “children’s citizenship” in the context of possibilities and promises for the rights of children that are laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It poses the question, Can “children’s citizenship” ever be fully accomplished for and/or by children? The article begins with an examination of contemporary theories of citizenship and considers the grounds for children’s citizenship in the light of the ways in which “childhood” is culturally, socially, economically, and politically constructed in different societies. It suggests that in social investment states, such as the United Kingdom, the contemporary cultural politics of childhood mean that children’s citizenship remains ambiguous. What is needed, the article suggests, is a greater understanding at the local level of how children’s experiences as members of society unfold. Thus, taking England as a case study, and drawing on some empirical research with children’s experiences in children’s hospitals, the article illustrates the ways in which adults’ ideas about childhood limit children’s agency and actions, thereby denying them status as citizens.” (p167)

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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