Childhood, Mobile Technologies and Everyday Experiences: by Emma Bond (auth.)

By Emma Bond (auth.)

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Sample text

Yet, as with wider philosophical debates in children’s rights, the relationship between the child-protection discourses and participation is often problematic. James (2010) argues that childhood studies was at a ‘crossroads’ and that future directions need to be interrogated in light of the critique put forward by Qvortrup (2005) and others on the complexity and multiplicity of the diversities of childhoods. James (2010, p. 497) uses the metaphor of weaving, of recognising the different elements of ‘warp’ and of ‘weft’ that constitute different patterns of fabric and suggests: The conceptualisation of childhood studies in this way might therefore offer a way forward for childhood studies as an interdisciplinary project, offering the prospect of a structure within which currently competing and even politically contradictory perspectives can be 36 Childhood, Mobile Technologies & Everyday Experiences woven into the fabric of childhood studies, in a way that enables the apparent tensions between them to make a constructive contribution to the structure of the fabric.

Whilst the social effects of technologies are complex and contingent (MacKenzie and Wajcman, 1999), ‘historians, social scientists, journalists, and current commentators have given us very few significant forecasts or analyses on the telephone’s social effects’ (Pool, 1997, p. 185).

2010, p. 205) and the brief foray through the literature on the history of childhood detailed above clearly illustrates that the way in which childhood is understood and how children’s everyday experiences have undergone radical changes over the centuries. It is important to remember, however, that historical analyses are specific to particular geographic, social and economic contexts, and that ‘within any particular historical and social context there will be a normative and hegemonic concept of childhood against which children themselves are compared as individuals and collectives’ (Wells, 2009, p.

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