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Entanglements between agency and vulnerability in the phenomenon of birth: reflections on children’s expressions about "being born"


Heite, Catrin; Magyar-Haas, Veronika (2020). Entanglements between agency and vulnerability in the phenomenon of birth: reflections on children’s expressions about "being born". Diskurs Kindheits- und Jugendforschung, 15(2):135-146.

Abstract

Analogously to the works in the field of new social studies of childhood, this contribution deals with the concept of childhood as a social construction, in which children are considered as social actors in their own living environment, engaged in interpretive reproduction of the social. In this perspective the concept of agency is strongly stressed, and the vulnerability of children is not sufficiently taken into account. But in combining vulnerability and agency lies the possibility to consider the perspective of the subjects in the context of their social, political and cultural embeddedness. In this paper we show that what children say, what is important to them in general and for their well-being, is shaped by the care experiences within the family and by their social contexts. The argumentation for the intertwining of vulnerability and agency is exemplified by the expressions of an interviewed girl about her birth and by reference to philosophical concepts about birth and natality.

Abstract

Analogously to the works in the field of new social studies of childhood, this contribution deals with the concept of childhood as a social construction, in which children are considered as social actors in their own living environment, engaged in interpretive reproduction of the social. In this perspective the concept of agency is strongly stressed, and the vulnerability of children is not sufficiently taken into account. But in combining vulnerability and agency lies the possibility to consider the perspective of the subjects in the context of their social, political and cultural embeddedness. In this paper we show that what children say, what is important to them in general and for their well-being, is shaped by the care experiences within the family and by their social contexts. The argumentation for the intertwining of vulnerability and agency is exemplified by the expressions of an interviewed girl about her birth and by reference to philosophical concepts about birth and natality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:vulnerability, agency, birth, natality
Language:English
Date:20 June 2020
Deposited On:07 Feb 2021 11:44
Last Modified:07 Feb 2021 11:47
Publisher:Verlag Barbara Budrich
ISSN:2193-9713
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3224/diskurs.v15i2.02
Related URLs: (Library Catalogue)

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