Childhood, politics and ambiguity: towards an agenda for children's political inclusion

Wyness, Michael; Harrison, Lisa and Buchanan, Ian (2004). Childhood, politics and ambiguity: towards an agenda for children's political inclusion. Sociology, 38(1) pp. 81–99.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038504039362

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between children, young people and the world of politics. Whilst the past decade or so has seen the development of initiatives that draw children within the political sphere, there are powerful political and social forces that position children as dependent subalterns and thus exclude them from political participation. We address this ambiguous situation by referring to competing discourses on childhood: the discourse on chidren's needs that foregrounds their transitional social status and an imperative to protect, and a set of ideas that revolves around children having collective 'interests' that require political articulation. In drawing out these competing discourses, the article addresses a range of 'inclusive' policies at global, national and local levels.

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