About the Violence and the Responsibilities of Naming: Childhoods of the Global South, of the Majority World or, Southern Childhoods?

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:42
Oral Presentation
Lucia RABELLO DE CASTRO, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This paper departs from the plethora of expressions about children and childhoods of Southern countries present in Child Studies today in order to discuss some implications of theory building about childhood, its communication and diffusion process between North and South. Of special interest here is how particular institutional and national actorships are favoured in detriment of others, and certain theoretical perspectives in the area of Childhood Studies become hegemonic. Insofar as this can be understood as part and parcel of a more general pattern of scholarship interaction between North and South, whereby authority centres of knowledge production are legitimated, the naming of childhood experiences in Southern countries by Northern scholarship seems to accomplish the expected division of scientific labour for both sides. It is argued therefore that naming, or whatever discursive practices and productions, concurs to either alienate or to integrate one’s self or collective experiences. In the case in point, it is analysed how the expressions of ‘global South’, or ‘Majority World’, frequently deployed by those who do not live in this part of the world, tend to obfuscate relevant issues of globalization in these countries conducing Southern scholars to more obvious research questions that hardly meet the claim of their responsibilities concerning local demands of the study of children and childhood. This paper seeks to highlight the violent element inherent in those academic practices that needs to be extricated in order to decolonize scientific knowledge and build up new decolonial sensitivities and self.