Beyond the competent child
Exploring contemporary childhoods in the Nordic welfare societies
The Nordic child is often considered competent: as a family member, a pupil, a consumer or a citizen. Looking more in depth one finds that the idea of the competent child is intimately linked to the modern project and to ideas of children as rational "beings"; children in their own right.
What, then, are the implications for the present time with its constant questioning of the mere concept of modernity?
- Is "the competent child" a proper tool for understanding children in a fragile and porous world order?
- Does it create a false understanding of the state of the world, of the child, of childhood and of generational structures?
- Could it even be a hindrance as far as the viewing of children as proper humans is concerned?
- Maybe it is time for a new understanding that goes beyond the competent child?
Beyond the competent child consists of four parts focusing on child policies and child participation, school and day care, market and consumption, and finally an attempt to rethink the concept of becoming-child in the new millennium.
The broader aim is to contribute to a more general international debate on the fundamental shifts that our understanding of children and childhood is currently undergoing. In this respect, the Nordic case has a lot to contribute with for understanding childhood and childhood concepts also in other parts of the world.
The book addresses childhood researchers and their university level students throughout the Nordic countries as well as in other parts of the world.