FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 45

 

CHILDREN’S AGENCY AS A THEORETICAL PROBLEM AND A PRACTICAL CONCERN (AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL REMARK)

Angelina Kozlovskaya

EuropeanUniversity at St Petersburg
6/1 А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
ange.zhuko.yur()gmail.com

Anna Kozlova

EuropeanUniversity at St Petersburg
6/1 А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
yeklopozhka()gmail.com

Abstract: The introduction opens the proceedings for the conference on childhood studies “‘Through Children’s Eyes’: The Child’s Subjectivity in Social Studies and in the Public Sphere” (December 21–22, 2018, EUSPb, St Petersburg). The paper traces the history of the New Social Studies of Childhood, a research paradigm which has put forward the notion of children as competent social actors and has made claims for its universality as a conceptual framework for studying children. A close examination of the discipline formation shows that—in an attempt to draw attention to the worthiness of childhood as a research subject—proponents of the new paradigm have used politically informed arguments and have drawn on the “adult” model of rational subjects for the conceptualization of children’s practices. These, in turn, have led to the loss of specificity in the accounts of childhood experiences. Several theoretical efforts made both within and outside the “new sociology of childhood” to overcome the conceptual crisis are considered. The present collection consists of four ethnographic studies related to the issue of children’s agency. Two of these examine the soviet pedagogical disputes on the meaning of children’s independency (which in many ways are congruent to the theoretical discussion of children’s agency) and the two others explore the different forms and formats agency takes in natural settings within peer interaction.

Keywords: children’s agency, the new sociology of childhood, social studies of childhood, rational subject, soviet pedagogics, children’s culture.

To cite: Kozlovskaya A., Kozlova A. ‘Detskaya agentnost kak predmet teoreticheskoy diskussii i prakticheskaya problema (antropologicheskiy kommentariy)’ [Children’s Agency as a Theoretical Problem and a Practical Concern (an Anthropological Remark)], Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 45, pp. 11–25.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2020-16-45-11-25

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/045/kozlovskaya_kozlova.pdf