Children's proximal societal conditions

Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

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This article will argue for and unfold the conceptualization of children’s proximal societal conditions. Through out different research project in which children’s everyday life in different day care settings and in schools has been studied, it becomes clear that ‘the societal’ is not something that is above or outside the institutional setting or the children’s everyday life, but something that is represented through societal structures and actual persons participating (in political ways) within the institutional settings, in ways that has meaning to children’s possibilities to participate, learn and develop.
Understanding school or kindergarten as (part of) the children’s proximal societal conditions for development and learning, means for instance that considerations about an inclusive agenda are no longer simply thoughts about the school – for economic reasons – having space for as many pupils as possible (schools for all). Such thoughts can be supplemented by reflections about which version of ‘the societal’ we wish to present our children with, and which version of ‘the societal’ we wish to set up as the condition for children’s participation and development. The point is to clarify or sharpen the dialectic relation between the subject and the societal conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Critical Psychology
Place of PublicationThe critical institute - Critical knowledge in practice
Publication date2018
StateAccepted/In press - 2018