Children and Knowledge sheds light on what it is to be a child in India in the contemporary moment and in history.
While acknowledging the ways Indian children are situated within structures of power, this volume foregrounds innovative methodologies for conducting research into childhood and children’s lives that meaningfully engage with young people’s understandings, stories and agency. The chapters probe conceptualisations of Indian childhoods, and interrogate both singularising models of childhood and the idea of ‘multiple childhoods.’ The contributors use the theme 'children and knowledge' to analyse young people’s interactions with institutions of modernity and social structures—including gender, family, class, community and caste, as well as media, markets and development—that often marginalise and frame children in multiple, cumulative ways. The chapters juxtapose and triangulate three approaches to knowledge: knowledge about children; knowledge for children; and children’s own knowledge. Taken together, the chapters demonstrate how this juxtaposition is a useful framework for the analysis of historical and contemporary Indian social processes.
Demonstrating that understanding Indian children’s experiences and knowledgeable perspectives is fundamental to any proper understanding of social complexity and change Children and Knowledge will be of great interest to scholars of childhoods studies, gender, education and South Asian studies. The book was originally published as a special issue of South Asian History and Culture.
1. Introduction: children and knowledge in India
Zazie Bowen and Jessica Hinchy
2. Play on the mother-ground: children’s games in rural Odisha
3. Adivasi children and the making of indigeneity in Jharkhand
4. Adivasi young people and the risk of education in rural Chhattisgarh
5. Enslaved childhoods in eighteenth-century Awadh
6. Telling stories, washing hands: exploring the role of narrative in development programmes targeting children
7. Duties of a ‘good citizen’: colonial secondary school textbook policies in late nineteenth-century India
This books series offers a forum that will provide an integrated perspective on the field at large. It brings together research on South Asia in the humanities and social sciences, and provides scholars with a platform covering, but not restricted to, their particular fields of interest and specialization. Such an approach is critical to any expanding field of study, for the development of more informed and broader perspectives, and of more overarching theoretical conceptions.
The idea is to try to achieve a truly multidisciplinary forum for the study of South Asia under the aegis of which the established disciplines (e.g. history, politics, gender studies) and more recent fields (e.g. sport studies, sexuality studies) will enmesh with each other. A focus is also to make available to a broader readership new research on film, media, photography, medicine and the environment, which have to date remained more specialized fields of South Asian studies.
A significant concern for series is to focus across the whole of the region known as South Asia, and not simply on India, as most ‘South Asia' forums inevitably tend to do. The series is most conscious of this gap in South Asian studies and works to bring into focus more scholarship on and from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other parts of South Asia.