The new wave of childhood studies: breaking the grip of bio-social dualism?
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Ryan, KW (2012) 'The new wave of childhood studies: Breaking the grip of bio-social dualism?'. Childhood, 19 :439-452.
The article takes as its starting point a new wave of researchers who use concepts such as 'hybridity' and 'multiplicity' in a bid to move the study of childhood beyond the strictures of what Lee and Motzkau call 'bio-social dualism', whereby the division between the 'natural child' of developmental psychology and the 'social child' of socialization theory replicates a tendency in modern thought and practice to divide nature from culture. The article offers an alternative approach to understanding modern western childhood, and argues that this emerges not through a division between nature and culture, but in the form of a 'biosocial nexus' which is irreducible to distinct elements and which provides a way of locating developmental psychology and socialization theory within the same field of practice. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of this for the new wave of childhood studies, which is said to redeploy rather than escape bio-social power.
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