Beyond ‘voice’, beyond ‘agency’, beyond ‘politics’? Hybrid childhoods and some critical reflections on children's emotional geographies
journal contributionposted on 02.09.2013, 13:55 authored by Peter Kraftl
In this paper I argue that a significant proportion of research on children’s emotional geographies has been deployed to reinforce the importance of children’s ‘voices’, their (independent) ‘agency’, and the various ways in which voice/agency maybe deemed ‘political’. Without wishing to dismiss or dispense with such approaches, I explore potential ways to go ‘beyond’ concerns with voice/agency/politics. Initially, I review studies of children’s participation (and participatory methods), activism and everyday lives that mobilise emotion and affect in productive ways. I contrast such studies with important questions raised by a reinvigoration of interest in the need for children to be able to represent themselves. I then explore the possibilities raised by so-called ‘hybrid’ conceptions of childhood e which go beyond biosocial dualisms e to enable further strides beyond voice/agency. Drawing on examples from alternative education and contemporary attachment theories, I explore some potential implications for children’s emotional geographies and relational geographies of age of what I term ‘more-than-social’ emotional relations. Yet I do not offer an unequivocal endorsement of these hybrid emotions. Thus, I end the paper by issuing some words of caution e both in terms of the critical questions raised by more-than-social emotional relations, specifically, and in terms of engendering broader debate about how and why scholars do (children’s) emotional geographies.