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Performing Child(hood)

Barron, Ian and Jones, Liz (2012) Performing Child(hood). ISSN 0951-0605

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Abstract

Taking an example of play as our point of departure, we consider what it means to be a child and to perform (Butler, Feminism/Postmodernism, 1990; Gender, 1990. Routledge: New York) childhood. By drawing on poststructuralist accounts of subjectivity, language and meaning (Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, 1979. Penguin: Harmondsworth; Derrida, Dissemination, 1974. Athlone: London), we argue that despite powerful discourses that seek to contain childhood, children manage to exceed or interrupt sites of containment. We then go on to suggest that if children themselves are moving beyond some of the discourses in which they are enwrapped, how might we seek to further destabilise what ‘becoming’ (Deleuze,1990: http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpdeleuze3.htm) child might mean and what might be the implications for our practice(s) with children.

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