Feminism and the Politics of Childhood

Friends or Foes?

Edited by Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley

ISBN: 9781787350601

Publication: February 22, 2018

What is this?

Feminism and the Politics of Childhood offers an innovative and critical exploration of perceived commonalities and conflicts between women and children and, more broadly, between various forms of feminism and the politics of childhood. This unique collection of 18 chapters brings into dialogue authors from a range of geographical contexts, social science disciplines, activist organisations, and theoretical perspectives. The wide variety of subjects include refugee camps, care labour, domestic violence and childcare and education.

Chapter authors focus on local contexts as well as their global interconnections, and draw on diverse theoretical traditions such as poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, posthumanism, postcolonialism, political economy, and the ethics of care. Together the contributions offer new ways to conceptualise relations between women and children, and to address injustices faced by both groups.

Praise for Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes?

‘This book is genuinely ground-breaking.’ ‒ Val Gillies, University of Westminster

Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? asks an impossible question, and then casts prismatic light on all corners of its impossibility.’ ‒ Cindi Katz, CUNY

‘This provocative and stimulating publication comes not a day too soon.’ ‒ Gerison Lansdown, Child to Child

‘A smart, innovative, and provocative book.’ ‒ Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University

‘This volume raises and addresses issues so pressing that it is surprising they are not already at the heart of scholarship.’ ‒ Ann Phoenix, UCL

Rachel Rosen is Senior Lecturer in Childhood in the Department of Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education.

Katherine Twamley is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow in the Department of Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education

The woman– child question: A dialogue in the borderlands
Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley

Section 1 Tense Encounters: Gender and Generation

1. A necessary struggle- in- relation?
Erica Burman
2. Working- class women and children in Grassroots Women
Merryn Edwards
3. When the rights of the children prevail over the rights of their caretakers: A case study in the community homes of Bogotá, Colombia
Susana Borda Carulla
4. Thinking through childhood and maternal studies: A feminist encounter
Rachel Thomson and Lisa Baraitser
5. Notes on unlearning: Our feminisms, their childhoods
Debolina Dutta and Oishik Sircar
6. Ideal women, invisible girls? The challenges of/ to feminist solidarity in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps
Elena Fiddian- Qasmiyeh
7. A ‘sort of sanctuary’
An interview with Liz Clegg by Rachel Rosen

Section 2 Life’s Work

8. Love, labour and temporality: Reconceptualising social reproduction with women and children in the frame 117
Rachel Rosen and Jan Newberry
9. Caring labour as the basis for movement building
An interview with Selma James by Rachel Rosen
10. Care labour as temporal vulnerability in woman– child relations
Gina Crivello and Patricia Espinoza-Revollo
11. International commercial surrogacy: Beyond feminist conundrums and the child as product
Kristen Cheney
12. Stratified maternity in the barrio: Mothers and children in Argentine social programs
Valeria Llobet and Nara Milanich
13. Decolonising childrearing and challenging the patriarchal nuclear family through Indigenous knowledges: An Opokaa’sin project
Tanya Pace- Crosschild

Section 3 Political Projects and Movement Building

14. ‘Too Young to Wed’: Envisioning a ‘generous encounter’ between feminism and the politics of childhood
Virginia Caputo
15. Feminists’ strategic role in early childhood education
Sri Marpinjun, Nindyah Rengganis, Yudha Andri Riyanto and Fransisca Yuni Dhamayanti
16. ‘Gimme shelter’? Complicating responses to family violence
Sevasti- Melissa Nolas, Erin Sanders- McDonagh and Lucy Neville
17. Becoming- woman, becoming- child: A joint political programme
Ohad Zehavi
Feminist intuitions in Peru’s Movement of Working Children
A dialogue between Alejandro Cussianovich Villaran and Jessica Taft

'Fabrizia Serafim welcomes the collection for providing a range of alternative theoretical constructs and practical examples of thinking relations with complexity.'

  LSE Review of Books

It is a rare book that can be said to inaugurate a new field of study. Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or foes? raises and addresses issues so pressing that it is surprising they are not already at the heart of scholarship on feminisms and the politics of childhood. It draws on an impressive range of empirical, theoretical and practice material from different perspectives, disciplines and everyday practices. In doing so, it enables potentially antagonistic positions to be aired and refuses to reduce women and children to equivalences or to flatten differences between women and between children. Together, the chapters make a cutting-edge, critical intervention that readers will enjoy dipping into, but that will repay close and repeated reading.

Ann Phoenix  

Insightful, provocative and evocative, Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or foes? challenges readers to grapple with the uneasy ideological and political tensions arising whenever those positioned as children and as women commingle. Rosen and Twamley, together with a strong array of contributors, invite active and sometimes messy engagement with varieties of feminisms and childhoods so as to enable public, connected and relational ways of knowing, telling and doing. A must-read for scholars and activists alike.

Daniel Thomas Cook  

This ground-breaking work straddles the divide between theory, practice, and activism. By reflecting on the mother-child relationship and analyzing care work in capitalist and patriarchal societies, this book provides a powerful counter-narrative to the pervasive individualistic social ontology that permeates Western academia. The authors’ approaches are sensitive to the legacy of colonialism and the divides between feminism/s. The ideas and problems explored in this book are both inspiring and provocative.

Rachelle Bascara  

This book is genuinely ground-breaking. It spans disciplinary boundaries to foreground fundamental issues of care, relationality and justice, forging fresh and exciting new directions in conceptual theory and political action. The dialogical style and collaborative ethos underpinning its production is original and uplifting, making it an expansive, ambitious and an exhilarating read.

Val Gillies  

This stimulating book explores the relations between women and children in a contextualised way that is conceptually challenging and methodologically innovative. The product of a subtle and rich intellectual debate, the book fully embodies its driving inspiration: to foster a 'generous encounter' of mutual learning between feminism and childhood studies, and between academia and the world of political and social activism.

Ana Vergara Del Solar  

This provocative and stimulating publication comes not a day too soon. Exploring the profound complexities embedded in the woman and child relationship, it challenges the reductive instrumentalisation of women as simply a means of realising children’s rights, and makes a powerful case for recognition that the perpetuation of a hierarchy of rights impedes justice and dignity for both women and children.

Gerison Lansdown  

Traveling the fraught borderlands between women and children, women’s studies and childhood studies, Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? asks an impossible question, and then casts prismatic light on all the corners of its impossibility – illuminating the temporalities and spatialities of the vexed and beautiful relational politics around love and labour, power and violence, care and antagonism, empire and liberation, social movements and interdependence.  With contributions from a truly international group of authors in formats including photo essays, interviews, narratives and scholarly articles, these pages are filled with beautiful, provocative, important conversations about the fluid and differentiated relations among and between women and children, world-making in their effects and possibilities.

Cindi Katz  

A smart, innovative, and provocative book, Feminism and the Politics of Childhood explores the confluences and disjunctures between feminist studies and childhood studies by disaggregating the 'woman and children/womanandchild' dyad. Breaks new ground theoretically and methodologically by foregrounding the political economy of the unequal distribution of need and vulnerability in struggles for social justice for women and for children in diverse geopolitical landscapes.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty  

Format: Open Access HTML

ISBN: 9781787350601

Publication: February 22, 2018

Scroll to top