Eurocentrism, Modern Childhood and Children’s Globalised Lives

  • David Blundell


Blundell addresses the theme of multicultural dialogues by proposing that behind the uncritical assumption of universality and naturalness found in developmentalist theories of childhood, there lurks a historically referenced Eurocentric provenance. The author argues that the idealised ‘child’ at the heart of developmentalism offers a largely invisible ‘stage-setting’ upon which essentialised social and cultural differences can be projected without reference to the complex entanglements of actual children’s lives as social actors. Blundell argues that the curriculum might embrace a multicultural commitment to diversity and difference, but this idealised ‘child’, as an embodiment for liberal individualism is problematic and a recondite anachronism that all too frequently frustrates attempts to recognise, respond to and embrace difference. This chapter ends by suggesting that multicultural dialogues can be advanced both through acknowledgement of the Eurocentric assumptions sustaining the concept of ‘the Child’ and by pursuing an understanding of children’s lives that more closely fits the facts of a world marked by diverse encounters across all levels, from the local to the global.


Multiculturalism Childhood Theories of childhood Curriculum Diversity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Blundell
    • 1
  1. 1.London Metropolitan UniversityLondonUK

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