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'Poor Child' : The Cultural Politics of Education, Development and Childhood (Hardcover)
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- Why are development discourses of the ‘poor child’ in need of radical revision?
- What are the theoretical and methodological challenges and possibilities for ethical understandings of childhoods and poverty?
The ‘poor child’ at the centre of development activity is often measured against and reformed towards an idealised and globalised child subject. This book examines why such normative discourses of childhood are in need of radical revision and explores how development research and practice can work to ‘unsettle’ the global child. It engages the cultural politics of childhood – a politics of equality, identity and representation – as a methodological and theoretical orientation to rethink the relationships between education, development, and poverty in children’s lives.
This book brings multiple disciplinary perspectives, including cultural studies, sociology, and film studies, into conversation with development studies and development education in order to provide new ways of approaching and conceptualising the ‘poor child’. The researchers draw on a range of methodological frames – such as poststructuralist discourse analysis, arts based research, ethnographic studies and textual analysis – to unpack the hidden assumptions about children within development discourses. Chapters in this book reveal the diverse ways in which the notion of childhood is understood and enacted in a range of national settings, including Kenya, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. They explore the complex constitution of children’s lives through cultural, policy, and educational practices. The volume’s focus on children’s experiences and voices shows how children themselves are challenging the representation and material conditions of their lives.
The ‘Poor Child’ will be of particular interest to postgraduate students and scholars working in the fields of childhood studies, international and comparative education, and development studies.
This book brings together analytic approaches from childhood studies, sociology, cultural studies and development studies to illustrate the different ways in which the concept of the ?poor child? is constructed and mobilised through development policy agendas in different national contexts. It unsettles the simplistic notions of the ?global? or ?universal? child that appear frequently in development theory and offers an interdisciplinary engagement with research across cultural sites and national contexts. The book brings the figuration of the ?poor child? to the centre of its analysis to ask how the child subject is understood in the developing world.
The interdisciplinary approach of the volume offers new insights into the way the constitution of childhood affects children's lives either materially, culturally or educationally. Fresh theoretical and methodological ideas invite the reader to consider a range of frameworks to understand ?childhoods? in a variety of national and cultural contexts. The analysis draws on multiple sites of knowledge production and makes use of textual and ethnographic research based in South and South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australia, the UK and USA. Through its focus on childhoods in contexts of poverty, the book critically examines the ways in which ?development? itself is constituted within development studies, development policy, and in wider cultural discourses of international development.
Including original pieces by international scholars in the field, the book?s central critique of the ?deficit? model of the poor child simultaneously illustrates the limitations of a ?deficit? model of ?developing countries?. It demonstrates that the idea of ?development? itself is much more complex and contingent than the linear trajectory or game of ?catch-up? that some development theories assume.