Re-Doing Generation By Un-Doing Gender: On the Absence of Gender Studies in Childhood Studies

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Übungsraum 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Sabina SCHUTTER, German Youth Institute, Germany
Anna BUSCHMEYER, German Youth Institute, Germany
The social constructivist view on gender seems to be common sense in Sociology when it comes to youth or adults (Butler 1991). Researching Children or Childhood, gender as a concept is either absent or – more often – referred to on a psychological level, indicating a more or less biologistic view on gender. Researching the healthy development of gender in childhood or questions of early sexual behavior are the domain of psychology, psychiatry or pedagogy. When the early gender studies address children or childhood, they are an argumentative proof for the construction of gender, seeing the socialization of children into dichotomist gender structures as empirical evidence that ‘before’ there is a somehow gender neutral state of children.

Whether gender development is seen as a biological process or as a way of socializing a patriarchal gender order, both concepts use the generational order to substantiate their research and do not include childhood studies from a social constructivist perspective.

Analyzing current research we are editing in a volume of the journal Gender (Buschmeyer/Schutter/Kortendiek 2016, Buschmeyer 2016) we try to conceptualize a theoretical approach to Childhood Studies from a gender Perspective.