Book Chapter

Deconstructing discourses to rupture fairytales of the “ideal” childhood

K Smith

Handbook of Children and Youth Studies | Published : 2015


Discourses of childhood represent a wide range of ideas about who children are and can be, as well as how they should and could live their lives. Contemporary discourses of childhood privilege understandings of the innocent and/or the developing child. These discourses create singular understandings and representations, fairytales of what an “ideal” childhood should and can be. This chapter shows how rhizoanalysis can be used to deconstruct how we think about childhood and present alternative modes of thought – and therefore possibilities for children to operate within and perform multiple childhoods. The aim of this chapter is to contest forms of domination within understandings of childhoo..

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