The Pedagogics of Post/Modernity: the Address to the Child as Political Subject and Object



This chapter explores questions of the subjectivities elaborated within accounts of postmodernity by juxtaposing readings of two theorists of contemporary politics and philosophy, Lyotard and Benjamin, who explicitly invoke and address childhood in their analyses. While Benjamin analyses the cultural and political strategies of modernity in his (1929–33) radio broadcasts for children, Lyotard1 claims to explain the postmodern condition to children. I will explore areas of convergence as well as difference that give rise to correspondingly different politics, and politics of childhood. While both accounts threaten to indulge in a romanticization which reinstitutes a model of the subject as abstracted from cultural-political contexts, this abstraction is also used to invoke the possibility of a subversive political imaginary. These familiar rhetorical devices therefore maintain a theme of the child as quintessential or idealized subject within postmodern as much as modern accounts — albeit for contrasting analytical purposes.


False Memory Radio Broadcast Emphasis Original Political Intervention French Edition 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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