Sociologija 2010 Volume 52, Issue 3, Pages: 265-283
doi:10.2298/SOC1003265N
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Childhood in the discourse of the politics of equal recognition

Nenadić Mile

The starting point of the analysis is the claim that the idea of childhood is not derived from immaturity as a biological fact of life but from the facts of culture. Childhood is a historical, social and cultural construct. It was 'discovered' retrospectively, after the moderns began ascribing more significance to everyday life, taking care of the little things in it - marriage, family, education. The idea of childhood, it is argued, is intimately connected with bestowing importance to everyday life and mundanity. Arguing in favor of a radical break with the 'misrecognition' of childhood - a representation based on an image that is constraining, humiliating, and often contemptuous towards children - the author provides a theoretical synthesis of the new paradigm in the sociology of childhood with Charles Taylor's politics of recognition. Coupling the idea of childhood with the politics of recognition results in the awareness that the world is no longer just the world of adults, that it has stopped being a reality inherent only to adult people.

Keywords: childhood, age, politics of recognition, everyday life, mundanity, complex identity

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