The conventional wisdom according to which children’s lives should be safe from adult concerns tends to situate them categorically outside the political. Thus understood, children become political agents when they reach maturity and eligibility to formal participation. Alternatively, political skills and competences may be seen to develop gradually through political socialization. Both views are challenged in recent scholarship on youthful politics beyond the formal, adult-centered political world.
This book considers politics as it appears and unfolds in children and young people’s everyday lives. The collection problematizes several key concepts in the research field and introduces a relational reading of youthful political agency based on social, spatial and political theorization. The chapters engage with youthful realities in Sri Lanka, Palestine, Sweden, New Zealand, the US and the UK, revealing a variety of ways in which children and youth are important political actors in their own right. The book also includes an extensive literary review on the study of children and young people’s politics in the past decade.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Space and Polity.
1. Children and Young People’s Politics in Everyday Life Kirsi Pauliina Kallio and Jouni Häkli 2. Friendship and environmental politics in childhood Ann E. Bartos 3. Intergenerational Mapping and the Cultural Politics of Memory Katharyne Mitchell and Sarah Elwood 4. ‘All the Beautiful Things’: Trauma, Aesthetics and the Politics of Palestinian Childhood David Jones Marshall 5. Performing the Political through Public Space: Teenage Girls’ Everyday Use of a City Park Sofia Cele 6. Contested Engagements: Youth and the Politics of Citizenship Lynn A. Staeheli, Kafui Attoh and Don Mitchell 7. Young People’s Everyday Politics in Post-conflict Sri Lanka Fazeeha Azmi, Cathrine Brun and Ragnhild Lund 8. Young People, Children, Politics and Space: A Decade of Youthful Political Geography Scholarship 2003–13 Tracey Skelton 9. The Child-Body-Politic: Afterword on ‘Children and Young People’s Politics in Everyday Life’ Chris Philo and Fiona Smith