Guest editorial: political geographies of children and young people

Philo, C. and Smith, F. M. (2003) Guest editorial: political geographies of children and young people. Space and Polity, 7(2), pp. 99-115. (doi: 10.1080/1356257032000133883)

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The purpose of this paper is to introduce the present Special Issue of Space & Polity tackling the political geographies of children and young people. Historically given scant attention by the sub-discipline, since children and young people appear to have little active influence on the workings of states, nations, geopolitics and the like, there are now small signs of how and why political geographers might look anew at the experiences and contribu tions of this population cohort. An empirical vignette, based on letters written by children and young people to Eleanor Roosevelt during the Great De pression, is deployed to develop this claim. Contrasts are then drawn between political geographies of children and young people that are ‘adult-centred’ and those that are ‘child-centred’, as related to claims about the distinctions and connections between ‘macro-politics’ and ‘micro-politics’. It is suggested that, notwithstanding the exciting insights to be derived from child-centred approaches, the situation should not be a matter of privileging these over adult-centred approaches. Indeed, it is argued that there are dangers in going down such a route and of thereby collapsing ‘the political’ into ‘the personal’, thus missing what is distinctively political about the geographies needing to be researched and written. Following a brief excursion into debates about the supposed political apathy of (post)modern children and young people, the paper then introduces the other contributions to the Special Issue.

Item Type:Articles (Editorial)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Philo, C., and Smith, F. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Space and Polity
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1470-1235

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