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Children, parents, and non-parents: To whom does “the future” belong?

Suissa, J; Rosen, R; (2020) Children, parents, and non-parents: To whom does “the future” belong? Families, Relationships and Societies. , 9 (1) pp. 125-141. 10.1332/204674319X15645386453149. Green open access

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Abstract

Narratives of ‘the future’ shape action, and the idea that certain members of society have more of a claim to ‘the future’ than others has received explicit articulation from academics, political commentators and journalists. Children are often viewed as the embodiment of ‘the future’, with parents positioned as having unique stakes in ‘the future’, particularly in comparison to non-parents. Asserting one agent’s rights to ‘the future’ inevitably undercuts another’s, and marginalised groups may be held responsible for the state of ‘the future’ but rendered unable to speak about it. In contrast, we argue that ‘the future’ is not the private possession of exclusionary subject positions or reductive political imaginaries which reduce the possible to a continuation of capitalist ethno-nations. Instead, we propose to understand futures as a collective intergenerational endeavour involving critical reflection on the present in order to challenge injustices in the present and enact evaluable changes. Doing so requires nothing short of a radical reimagining and remaking of childhood, (non)parenthood and adult‐child relations.

Type: Article
Title: Children, parents, and non-parents: To whom does “the future” belong?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1332/204674319X15645386453149
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1332/204674319X15645386453149
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions
Keywords: (non)parenthood; childhood; ethno-nation; financialised capitalism; utopian theory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079942
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