Yliniva, K., Brunila, K. (2023). Re-Conceptualizing the Political Agency of Young Children in the Anthropocene. In: Wyn, J., Cahill, H., Cuervo, H. (eds) Handbook of Children and Youth Studies. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4451-96-3_126-1
Re-conceptualizing the political agency of young children in the Anthropocene
|Author:||Yliniva, Kirsi1,2; Brunila, Kristiina2|
1Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2AGORA for the Study of Social Justice and Equality in Education -Research Centre, Department of Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe20231013140031
|Publish Date:|| 2025-09-27
This chapter critically analyzes the reconfiguration of agency evident in early childhood education (ECE) and childhood studies research concerned with the Anthropocene, which is mostly grounded in posthumanist and new materialist approaches. Applying Foucault’s ideas related to problematization and Bacchi’s method “What is the problem represented to be?”, we discuss forms of agency idealized in ECE research of the Anthropocene — distributed, relational, more-than-human agency — which radically contest more traditional understandings of agency as individual, intentional, rational, autonomous, and exclusively human. We argue that ECE research of the Anthropocene — while emphasizing relational forms of agency and the harmonic co-existence of species — runs the risk of failing to adequately address the human and planetary predicament entangled with complex systems of power relations by undermining possibilities for children’s political agency necessary for challenging social and ecological injustices. We contend that rethinking ECE for the Anthropocene requires addressing both the risk of depoliticization inherent in the re-conceptualization of children’s agency and critical elaboration of the possibilities opened up by posthumanist and new materialist theories for shaping alternative future(s) and ways of living.
|Pages:||1 - 20|
Handbook of children and youth studies
|Host publication editor:||
|Type of Publication:||
A3 Book chapter
|Field of Science:||
516 Educational sciences
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