Childism empowers children by transforming norms and structures.
It is like feminism but related to children. It recognizes that young people are often disadvantaged compared to adults. And so it strives to change societies in ways that better respond to children’s actual lives.
Childism therefore seeks children’s radical equalityEquityA commitment to action: the process of redistributing access and opportunity to be fair and just.A way of being: the state of being free of bias, discrimination, and identity-predictable outcomes... More. But it does so, not on traditional adult terms, but according to children’s own distinctive experiences. It works to develop child- inclusive imaginations.
Childism understands that children are systemically marginalizedFor me this space of radical openness is a margin a profound edge. Locating oneself there is difficult yet necessary. It is not a “safe” place. One is always at... More. It critiques structures of adultism, whether in unjust powerThe 20th Century political scientist Karl Deutsch said, “Power is the ability not to have to learn.”I quote this statement often, because I think it’s one of the most important... More relations or in subtler habits of everyday discrimination.
And it finds in children themselves the resources to make societies more just. Just as the perspectives of women, minorities, the poor, and many differentOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals... More others improve life for all, so also must the perspectives of young people be empowered to reconstruct our shared worlds. Childism expands what it means to be human for children and adults both.CHILDISM: AN INTRODUCTION
This article proposes a new lens or prism called childism for critiquing the deeply engrained adultism that pervades scholarship and societies and reconstructing more age-inclusive research and social imaginations. Childism grows out of childhood studies but also makes demands on social scientific and humanistic disciplines more broadly, as well as upon social practices. In this way, it is analogous to feminism and other critical movements while also making distinct theoretical and methodological contributions of its own. Ultimately, it calls for responding to structural experiences of age as vital to critical social understanding as such. To these ends, the article distinguishes childism from childhood studies, shows how it is emerging in diverse disciplinary contexts, explains how it differs from alternative uses of the term childism, and develops systematic theoretical grounds for advancing childism across the academy and society.From childhood studies to childism: reconstructing the scholarly and social imaginations
- Blog: Biswas, Tanu “Children’s Civil Disobedience in the Minority World & its Potential for Re-imagining the Educational,” CCYSC Blog
- Blog: Biswas, Tanu. ‘Decolonial Childism’: Nurturing Diversity for Intergenerational Sustainability.
- Article: Biswas, Tanu, 2021. “Letting Teach: Gen Z as Socio-Political Educators in an Overheated World.” Frontiers in Political Science 3(641609): 1-11.
- Video: Tanu Biswas, “Childism: A Minor Dimension of Major Significance”
- Podcast: Biswas and Wall, “Combatting Adultism to Create a Flourishing Democracy w/ Dr. Tanu Biswas & Dr. John Wall,” Human Restoration Project.
- Video: Barajas, Sebastian, Unearned advantages? Redefining privilege in light of childhood
- Optional ReadingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and... More: Barajas, Sebastian, 2021. “Unearned Advantages? Redefining PrivilegeTo not have conversations because they make you uncomfortable is the definition of privilege. Your comfort is not at the center of this discussion.Brené Brown Power can be understood as... More in Light of Childhood.” Children’s Geographies 19. “This article puts privilege theory in conversation with childhood studies in order to create a richer understanding of privilege.”
- Abebe, Tatek and Tanu Biswas, 2021, “Rights in Education: Outlines for a Decolonial, Childist Reimagination of the Future.” Fennia – International Journal of Geography 199(1): 118-128). (https://www.childism.org/_files/ugd/8edd45_163d1472608f4a0d93d2d50fc8784faa.pdf)
- Biswas, Tanu, 2021. “Who Needs Sensory Education?” Studies in Philosophy and Education, 1-16. (https://8edd4583-272f-402d-a88f-f13f889bc034.usrfiles.com/ugd/8edd45_19ba1cd54fb0468ca18a7b24e2b01fbb.pdf)
- Franck, Olof. 2017. “Highlighting Ethics, Subjectivity and Democratic Participation in Sustainabiltity Education: Challenges and Contributions.” In Ethical Literacies and Education for Sustainable Development: Young People, Subjectivity and Democratic Participation, edited by Olof Franck and Christina Osbeck, 1-17. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (https://www.childism.org/_files/ugd/8edd45_3dd70e69ce5e4e26bc5b194b5790ded1.pdf)
- Luna, Sara Michael, “Challenging Norms in Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum by Listening to Young Children: Pre-Service Teachers’ Lessons in Phonological AwarenessAcceptance means training mental health service providers to look at autism and other disabilities as a part of a person's identity, rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Acceptance... More.” International Critical Childhood Policy Studies (2021) 8(2):80-91. (https://journals.sfu.ca/iccps/index.php/childhoods/article/view/151)
- Saal, Britta, 2020. “The Children’s Polylogue – Doing Philosophy with Children in Intercultural Encounters,” Polylog – Journal for Intercultural Philosophizing (2020), 1(7):55-69. (https://www.childism.org/_files/ugd/8edd45_91282ebbaf034a3fbdfe322bb4b3156a.pdf).
- Wadsworth, Sarah. 2015. “The Year of the Child: Children’s Literature, Childhood Studies, and the Turn to Childism.” American Literary History 27(2):331-341. (https://academic.oup.com/alh/article-abstract/27/2/331/216590?redirectedFrom=fulltext)
- Warming, Hanne, 2020. “Childism.” In Dan Cook, ed., The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. SAGE Publications. (https://www.childism.org/_files/ugd/8edd45_c99989c285e84a1fb3a3476b26c53e0c.pdf)
Source of list: Conference to Restore Humanity! 2022: Curated Resources