Public Space and the Culture of Childhood  book cover
1st Edition

Public Space and the Culture of Childhood

ISBN 9780367604448
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
144 Pages

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Book Description

Children are at the heart of popular and public debates in North America and Europe about the culture of public space. On the one hand there is increased anxiety about children's vulnerability to stranger danger, on the other there is a rising tide of fear about out of control and dangerous youth. This book addresses both these debates about children's role in public space, setting them within an academic framework and drawing on a range of interdisciplinary work on childhood, young people and parenting. It is therefore relevant to practitioners and policy makers concerned with the nature and future of public space, and to academics researching or teaching about childhood, family or public space in the disciplines of sociology, social policy and geography.

Table of Contents

Contents: Childhood in crisis?; Terror talk: geographies of fear; Gender and parenting cultures; 'I can handle it': children and competence; The retreat from the street; Contested terrain: teenagers in public space; Children and the future of public space; References; Index.

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Gill Valentine is Professor of Geography, and Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute at the University of Leeds, UK. She is the (co) author/editor of 10 books, and over 75 articles (in print/in press) in major international journals and in key edited volumes. She is currently co-editor of two journals: Gender, Place and Culture and Social and Cultural Geography and is a member of five other editorial boards.


’Gill Valentine’s work on children’s and young people’s geographies is exemplary. Her insights, drawn from human geography but ranging over a wide interdisciplinary field, throw light both on adult preoccupations about children and youth and the ways in which young people themselves make sense of their worlds. This is an important book, which should be read by anyone interested in children and young people, childhood and youth studies.’ Professor Debbie Epstein, Cardiff University, UK ’Valentine deconstructs theories about fear in public space and the supposed incompetence of children. These results (and also the methodology used) are of great importance not only for her research in England but for any research in other contexts...a very formative and informative book...’ Social and Cultural Geography ’This is an enthralling read based on research that helps clarify our understanding of what is happening to young people with respect to a crucical aspect of their lives.’ Youth & Policy ’...a very lucid account of how children are perceived within their local landscapes...the book is impressive in its execution and completeness...there is much to think about from this well-written and accessible study of British families and their cultural geography.’ Journal of Family Studies 'I was absorbed by this book and could see it being a good resource for psychologists.' Debate: Division of Educational and Child Psychologists, The British Psychological Society