Mexican American Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations


Rethinking global north onto-epistemologies in childhood studies

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For some time, critical scholars in childhood studies have been reconceptualizing the field (Bloch, 2013). Developmentally appropriate practices and notions of terms like quality have been deconstructed to expose how they normalize childhood/s and create inequities in early education and care (Burman, 1994; Dahlberg et al., 2007). While critical scholarship has problematized dominant childhood discourses, theorizing has largely come from global north scholars (Pérez and Saavedra, in press). Although concern for social justice is at the core of global north critical research and pedagogy, as a field, we must consider how global south onto-epistemologies, especially those of women of color and Indigenous peoples, have been left out, ignored, and even appropriated within critical scholarship. We contemplate whether this is one reason why efforts to make a dramatic and critical shift in the priorities of childhood studies have not made the advances we have hoped for. As global south scholars and editors of this Special Issue, we and the contributors make an important call for rethinking our reliance on global north perspectives. By centering global south onto-epistemologies in childhood studies, we aim to open a dialogue that prompts a rethinking of global north dominance in the field.

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Global Studies of Childhood