Kidworld: Childhood Studies, Global Perspectives, and Education

Kidworld: Childhood Studies, Global Perspectives, and Education

Kidworld: Childhood Studies, Global Perspectives, and Education

Kidworld: Childhood Studies, Global Perspectives, and Education

Synopsis

Kidworld contributes to an emerging field of childhood studies that challenges disciplinary boundaries, in such fields as early childhood education and developmental psychology, which are limited in their beliefs and relationships with younger human beings. One role of childhood studies is to recognize the historical-, political-, and even power-oriented contexts that construct childhood, giving voice to issues that have been previously ignored and disqualified. The authors of Kidworld employ their own diverse, global perspectives to reveal the existence of and problems with globalization and marketing of the universal, modernist child. Such questions as the following are addressed: How are market-driven motives influencing the lives of (poor) children? How does the political climate of a nation affect children's cultural, linguistic, and educational rights? Can more just representation for children be accomplished? Contents: Gaile S. Cannella: Global Perspectives, Cultural Studies, and the Construction of Postmodern Childhood Studies--Sue Books: Making Poverty Pay: Children and the 1996 Welfare Law--Sumana Kasturi: Constructing Childhood in a Corporate World: Cultural Studies, Childhood, and Disney--Dominic Scott: What Are Beanie Babies Teaching Our Children?--Joe L. Kincheloe: The Complex Politics of McDonald's and the New Childhood: Colonizing Kidworld--Janice A. Jipson/Nicholas Paley: A Toy Story: The Object(s) of American Childhood--Mee-Ryoung Shon: Korean Early Childhood Education: Colonization and Resistance--Radhika Viruru: Postcolonial Ethnography: An Indian Perspective on Voice and Young Children--Susan Grieshaber: A National System of Childcare Accreditation: QualityAssurance or a Technique of Normalization?--Lourdes Diaz Soto/Rene Quesada Inces: Children's Linguistic/Cultural Human Rights--Gaile S. Cannella/Radhika Viruru: (Euro-American Constructions of) Education of Children (and Adults) Around the World: A Postcolonial Critique.

Excerpt

Gaile S. Cannella

Texas A&M University

Recent genealogical scholarship in a variety of fields, including history, early childhood education, developmental psychology, and cultural studies, has left little doubt that “childhood” is a cultural invention (Wyness, 2000; Cannella, 1997; Burman, 1994; Bloch, 1992, 1987; James & Prout, 1990; Aries, 1962). Truths inscribed as if within those who are young have been and are created through the “science” of psychology, art, literature, and religion, as well as cultural politics, public policy and legislation, judiciary decisions, pedagogical methods, and historical accounts. Within the “child” construct(s), younger human beings are reified as the “other.” This othering labels them as innocent (i.e., simple, ignorant, not yet adult), dependent (i.e., needy, unable to speak for themselves, vulnerable, victims), cute (i.e., objects, playthings, to be watched and discussed), and needing control (i.e., savage, lacking discipline, needing structure), to name just a few. Rather than benefiting human beings who are younger, these constructions often place them in positions in which they are labeled and treated as abnormal, lacking agency and . . .

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