From childhood studies to childism: reconstructing the scholarly and social imaginations

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChildren's Geographies
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Adultism
  • age
  • child
  • childhood studies
  • childism

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