Children and Knowledge: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives from India, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Children and Knowledge

Contemporary and Historical Perspectives from India, 1st Edition

Edited by Zazie Bowen, Jessica Hinchy


140 pages

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Hardback: 9780367374334
pub: 2019-11-11
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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.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: children and knowledge in India

Zazie Bowen and Jessica Hinchy

2. Play on the mother-ground: children’s games in rural Odisha

Zazie Bowen

3. Adivasi children and the making of indigeneity in Jharkhand

Marine Carrin

4. Adivasi young people and the risk of education in rural Chhattisgarh

Peggy Froerer

5. Enslaved childhoods in eighteenth-century Awadh

Jessica Hinchy

6. Telling stories, washing hands: exploring the role of narrative in development programmes targeting children

Annie McCarthy

7. Duties of a ‘good citizen’: colonial secondary school textbook policies in late nineteenth-century India

Sudipa Topdar


Zazie Bowen

About the Editors

Zazie Bowen is an anthropologist whose research includes childhoods studies, gender, education, visual media and play in India. She pursues innovative methodological approaches to research with young people.

Jessica Hinchy is a historian who researches gender, sexuality and domesticity in eighteenth and nineteenth century north India. Her 2019 book Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India explores the colonial criminalisation of ‘transgender’ Hijras. She has also examined the history of childhood and slavery.

About the Series

Routledge South Asian History and Culture Series

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies