The Beginning of Politics: Youthful Political Agency in Everyday Life

1st Edition

Kirsi Pauliina Kallio, Jouni Hakli

Published September 18, 2014
Reference - 148 Pages
ISBN 9781138806382 - CAT# Y170561


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The conventional wisdom according to which children’s lives should be safe from adult concerns tends to situate them categorically outside the political. Thus understood, children become political agents when they reach maturity and eligibility to formal participation. Alternatively, political skills and competences may be seen to develop gradually through political socialization. Both views are challenged in recent scholarship on youthful politics beyond the formal, adult-centered political world.

This book considers politics as it appears and unfolds in children and young people’s everyday lives. The collection problematizes several key concepts in the research field and introduces a relational reading of youthful political agency based on social, spatial and political theorization. The chapters engage with youthful realities in Sri Lanka, Palestine, Sweden, New Zealand, the US and the UK, revealing a variety of ways in which children and youth are important political actors in their own right. The book also includes an extensive literary review on the study of children and young people’s politics in the past decade.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Space and Polity.

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