What Kind of Agency for Children?

Chapter
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

This chapter explores the question of agency in childhood studies. The fascination of the field with agency as a foundational concept of the ‘new paradigm’ is discussed along with the emerging critiques of the dominant, essentialist uses of the concept and the often uncritical assumptions which surround it. The chapter then proceeds to situate the discussion within broader debates about agency in the social sciences and the ongoing attempts to transform the concept in more fruitful ways by turning towards relational approaches which see agency as assembled and networked. An empirical example is used to illustrate the potential of new materialism in rethinking agency in childhood research. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges that childhood studies faces in rethinking children’s agency as a critical concept within its overall scale-making practices.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesEuropean University CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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