For the past 20 years, a range of scholars, educators, and cultural workers have examined dominant discourses of «childhood» using critical, feminist, and other postmodern perspectives. Located in a variety of disciplines, these poststructural, deconstructive, and even postcolonial critiques have challenged everything from notions of the universal child, to adult/child dualisms, to deterministic developmental theory. The purpose of this volume is to acknowledge the profound contributions of that large body of literature, while demonstrating the ways that critical analyses can be used to generate avenues/actions that increase possibilities for social justice for those who are younger while, at the same time, avoiding determinism. In this time of globalization, hyper-capitalism, and discourses that would control and disqualify through constructions like accountability, we believe that projects such as this are of utmost importance.
The volume is divided into four major sections to reflect the multiplicity of human voices and perspectives (section I), contemporary circumstances and dominant discourses within which we all attempt to function (sections II and III), and the generation of new possibilities for constructing relationships together (section IV). Finally, a voice from the «heart» within a «reconceptualist» social science agenda for early childhood studies is presented.