Empowering children by transforming norms.

Wall, The Concept of Childism, Exploring Childism Across Disciplines, January 22, 2021

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 equality. 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 marginalized. It critiques structures of adultism, whether in unjust power 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 different 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.

Wall, The Concept of Childism, Exploring Childism Across Disciplines, January 22, 2021

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

Source of list: Conference to Restore Humanity! 2022: Curated Resources

Further reading,