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Decolonizing ChildhoodsFrom Exclusion to Dignity$
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Manfred Liebel

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447356400

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447356400.001.0001

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Colonialism and the colonization of childhoods

Colonialism and the colonization of childhoods

(p.33) 2 Colonialism and the colonization of childhoods
Decolonizing Childhoods

Manfred Liebel

Policy Press

In order to gain a concept of childhoods in the Global South, it is necessary to understand the connections between colonialization and childhood. This chapter conceptualizes childhood as a form of being and engages in a discourse on the same. It shows how the history of childhood is closely intertwined with changes in the modes of production and reproduction of societies. Particularly with the development of the capitalist mode of production in the modern European era and the rise of the bourgeoisie to the ruling class. In the first part, this chapter discusses the mental connections between the emergence of the European bourgeois childhood pattern and the colonialization of foreign continents. In this context, it traces the dialectic of education or literacy and power in the colonial and postcolonial relations. In the second part, this chapter explains how, in the 1960s and 70s, the discourse on the colonization of childhood arose and finally was linked with post- and decolonial theories. In conclusion it sheds light on some ambivalences of European-bourgeois childhood constructions with regard to colonialization and decolonization.

Keywords:   colonialization, decolonization, childhood history, childhood pattern, capitalism, literacy, education, power relations

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