Childhood innocence: essence, education, and performativity

Duschinsky, Robbie (2013) Childhood innocence: essence, education, and performativity. Textual Practice, 27 (5). pp. 763-781. ISSN 0950-236X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2012.751441

Abstract

This article will argue that representations of ‘childhood innocence’ do not express a prior and pure essence, but rather produce such representations performatively, through the separation of the pure and natural from the impure and corrupting. Innocence can be understood as a discourse constructing a relationship between subjectivities and their essence, whilst at the same time effacing the signs of this process of construction. Beginning with an analysis of Frank Wedekind's Mine-Haha, it will be suggested that in modern societies discourses can be mobilised to serve to protect and cultivate some individuals, but that they also operate powerful mechanisms of social exclusion, stratification, and normalisation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Innocence, discourse, performativity, essence, childhood
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Social Work and Communities
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2013 08:21
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:32
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/13676

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