Tracing the Global Child: Global Politics Shaping Local Childhoods
Keywords:Tracing the Global Child, Global Politics, Shaping Local Childhoods.
AbstractThe concept of childhood, and particularly considering the social and cultural construction of childhood, has not received enough focus in the ongoing debates on globalization and its consequences. Yet, essential elements of globalization are omnipresent in the guise of new discourses around childhood, which have become particularly resonant transnationally. A lot of international treaties or conventions, such as the United Nations Children’s Rights Convention (1989) shape national and local realities of children worldwide based on global conceptualisations of childhood, which are based mainly on western ideals of what it means to be a child. Applying such global notions of childhood in different contexts around the world often does not consider local realities and cultural ideologies of childhood, and indirectly does more harm than good. Childhood constitutes an essential and very delicate nexus in the continuously changing realities. Since childhood occupies a symbolic space where the consequences of globalization can be reflected, it cannot be left unconsidered. Not only childhood comprehends the basis of cultural connection, but it is the main mechanism of social recreation. Building on postcolonial and critical whiteness studies, the paper tries to analyse a few aspects relating the westernization and construction of the global child ideal and presenting an overview of the impacts of children global policies towards shaping local childhoods.
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