Kevin Ryan
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Governing the future
Childhood between the prior to and the not yet
in Refiguring childhood
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Chapter 2 explores how childhood has become a means of projecting the present into the future and of making such imagined futures practical and technical. Drawing from Agamben’s analysis of the modern ‘anthropological machine’, the chapter presents childhood as a threshold spanning animal/human, nature/culture and voice/language, tracking this through a textual analysis of Rousseau, J. S. Mill, G. Stanley Hall, James Sully and Phillip Pettit. This in turn serves as the historical backdrop used in subsequent chapters, specifically in terms of examining how biosocial power is deployed in the form of playgrounds, children’s citizenship and children’s health initiatives, as a way of preventing or ameliorating disadvantage, and as entrepreneurship education.

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Refiguring childhood

Encounters with biosocial power


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