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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Children's geographies
Children's geographies is an area of study in human geography, studying the places and spaces of children's lives.
An interest in children's geographies has developed in academic human geography since the beginning of the 1990s, although there were notable studies in the area before that date.
This development emerged from the realisation that previously human geography had largely ignored the everyday lives of children, who (obviously) form a significant section of society, and who have specific needs and capacities, and who may experience the world in very different ways. Thus children's geographies can in part be seen in parallel to an interest in gender in geography and feminist geography in so much as their starting points were the gender blindness of mainstream academic geography.
Children's geographies rests on the idea that children as a social group share certain characteristics which are experientially, politically and ethically significant and which are worthy of study. The pluralisation in the title is intended to imply that children's lives will be markedly different in differing times and places and in differing circumstances such as gender, family, and class.
Children's geographies is sometimes coupled with, and yet distinguished from the geographies of childhood. The former has an interest in the everyday lives of children; the latter has an interest in how (adult) society conceives of the very idea of childhood and how this impinges on children's lives in many ways. This includes imaginations about the nature of children and the related (spatial) implications.
There are a whole range of focii with children's geographies including children and the city, children and the countryside, children and technology, children and nature, children and globalisation, methodologies of researching children's worlds and the ethics of doing so; see the otherness of childhood.
There is now a journal of Children's Geographies which will give readers a good idea of the growing range of issues, theories and methodologies of this developing and vibrant sub-discipline.

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