All posts by ACYIG Web Manager

Children as Political Subjects in the Age of Uncertainty

by Seran Demiral (Boğaziçi University, Primary Education & at Kadir Has University, City and Children Studies)

In our contemporary world, certainty has left its place to flexibility, adaptability and willingness to change (Lee 2005:19). A new sociology of childhood addresses children’s agency to debate child ‘beings’ as both individuals for their own lives and social actors to affect the world. At that point, agency matter is discussed through other concepts, like subjectivity and/or competency. Bollig and Kelle (2016:37) claim that “the acting subject or the competent actor is replaced with a concept of participation in practices.” It is obvious that not only globalization but also digital technologies have changed our culture so that “from a global perspective childhood culture is becoming more homogenized” (Prout 2005:29). Besides, politics and childhood movements all over the world have become similar, especially during this decade.

Atlas Sarrafoğlu, Greta Thunberg, Selin Gören respectively[1]

 

Children can be aware of what happens in other places of the world and how their peers live. As it is known that Greta Thunberg has become an enormous inspiration for many children and young people from different countries, for instance, Atlas Sarrafoğlu gave a start for children’s climate activism in Turkey. Atlas was also honoured by the 2020 WWF International President’s Youth Award (BIA 2020), which is an indicator that childhood movements can be seen by institutions and authorities. After several months of children’s first universal school strike, Atlas and another young activist from Turkey, Selin Gören, attended the “Smile for Future summit” in Lausanne, Switzerland. Their meeting might have affected Greta’s sensitivity about ecologic resistance in Canakkale, so that she said, “Ida Mountains belong to us all” in Turkish (BIA 2019).