Presented by Esther Muddiman and Rhian Powell
The expansion of children’s rights is often framed as a win-win scenario, amplifying the voices and views of previously unheard citizens, and providing children and young people with experiences and skills that will enable them to engage with collective issues into adulthood. In this seminar we draw on David Lockwood’s work to critically explore the potential for an increased emphasis on age-related rights to contribute to new forms of civic stratification. We focus on two potential areas of contestation. Firstly, we consider Cardiff’s bid to become a UNICEF ‘Child Friendly City’ and identify a number of contested sites and spaces, including the ‘Save Northern Meadows’ campaign, in which narratives about children’s rights and intergenerational justice are mobilised. Secondly, we think about the contested temporal nature of childhood, the inclusion or exclusion of teenagers, and the policing of childhood’s borders with adulthood in relation to ideas about protection, welfare, competence and agency. We conclude by thinking about the potential for the promotion and enactment children’s rights to contribute to social reproduction, social disruption, or even transformation.