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Giving Children A Voice: Childhood, Power and Culture’

Moran-Ellis, J and Suenker, H (2008) Giving Children A Voice: Childhood, Power and Culture’ In: Symbolic Power in Cultural Contexts: Uncovering Social Reality. Sense Publisher, Rotterdam, pp. 75-92. ISBN 9087902654

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In order to secure the ability of this planet to survive Castells (1998, 353), at the end of his three volume study The Information Age, argues that we not only need responsible governments but also “a responsible, educated society”, i.e. educated citizens. The task of these citizens is to regulate society/the social through means which can be managed by themselves. An essential component for this is the establishment of participative democratic processes which include debate and decision-making and are have the real possibility of involving everyone in a society, overcoming the restrictions generated within Capitalism in terms of class, gender, race and generation. Engagement with the challenge of achieving this is especially critical in a time when the “extraordinary gap between our technological overdevelopment and our social underdevelopment” (Castells 1998, 359) is producing threats which are comparable to those in the first half of the twentieth century. We argue that to create the conditions for the members of a society to be the ‘educated’ citizens that Castells envisages requires not only a vision of that process of education which embraces a dialectical relationship between knowledge and action, but also an unconditional extension of citizenship. Here we focus especially on the situation of children. Our position concerning educated citizenship insists on the acceptance of children as actors in society alongside adults with full entitlements to democratic participation in the power relations which govern and structure their lives directly and indirectly. This requires a radical change in the relationship between power, culture and childhood.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 18 February 2008
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Posted with permission of the publisher.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 Feb 2015 16:41
Last Modified : 11 Feb 2015 16:41

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