Childhood at the Intersection of Discourses on Rights and Power: 30 Years after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Part I

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC53 Sociology of Childhood (host committee)
RC25 Language and Society

Language: English

The 2018 World Congress of Sociology takes place 30 years after the signing of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This landmark political act has been hailed as a victory for the children’s rights movement, but also heavily criticized from its early days. The UNCRC is criticized for overemphasizing children’s liberties, while undermining adults’ rights to protect and educate them. Others criticize the UNCRC as a moral crusade to save the world’s children, for consolidating disciplinary strategies based on authoritarian knowledge stemming from Western Enlightenment, which imposes a set idea of child and childhood. The ongoing sociological, pedagogical and political debate around the nature of children’s rights and intergenerational relationships lends itself as an example of the problematic coexistence of contrasting discourses on childhood and education. These discourses underpin the language of legislation, policy-making, education, healthcare, social services, and the law. Diverging concepts of power, rights, justice concerning intergenerational and intercultural relations suggest a more flexible idea of childhood. This session welcomes contributions interested in the relationship between positioning of childhood in society and the language that represents it. A not exhaustive list of themes would include:

-     Pragmatics of intergenerational communication
-     Interactional construction of generational identities
-     Discourse on childhood vis-a-vis education, health, science, politics, media, and including struggles between contrasting semantics of child-adult relationships
-     The language of children’s rights (i.e., children’s agency, child protection, trust in the child, adult control)
Session Organizers:
Loretta BASS, University of Oklahoma, USA, Federico FARINI, University of Northampton, United Kingdom and Angela SCOLLAN, Middlesex University in London, United Kingdom
Angela SCOLLAN, Middlesex University in London, United Kingdom
Loretta BASS, University of Oklahoma, USA
Oral Presentations
Education of the Body and Childhood: Power and Coercive Violence to the Body of Children at School
Aldecilene BARRETO, University of Brasilia, Brazil; Juliana FREIRE, University of Brasilia, Brazil; Ingrid Dittrich WIGGERS, University of Brasilia, Brazil
20 Years of Legislation on Childhood in Argentina. Progress and Setbacks in Key Rights and Guarantees
Distributed Papers