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2nd CFP/ AAG 2007 Children, Young People, Social and Environmental Justice

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  • Caitlin Cahill
    *CFP AAG 2007 San Francisco 17-21st April Children, Young People, Social and Environmental Justice: Making the Connections Convenors: Tracey Skelton,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1 1:48 PM
      *CFP AAG 2007 San Francisco 17-21st April

      Children, Young People, Social and Environmental
      Justice: Making the Connections

      Convenors: Tracey Skelton, Loughborough University, UK
      & Caitlin Cahill, University of Utah, USA

      *These two sessions are designed to bring together geographers and social
      scientists who have a focus on children/ young people, and environmental/social
      justice. The central aim is to consider the various ways in which processes
      of social and environmental justice have either marginalised children and
      young people, or directly engaged with this particular social grouping.
      However, even where children are included in campaigns, activities,
      developments and/or initiatives related to the environment and/or social
      justice, such 'inclusion' is often done from an adultist perspective. What
      does a youth perspective contribute to social and environmental
      justicemovements? These concerns are critical to our understanding of
      people's role in broader debates around activism, participation, and

      Children and young people experience, and are affected by, social, cultural,
      economic, political and environmental changes in different ways to adults.
      Their lived geographies often take them into different environments
      (social/urban/ or natural) from those that adults enter, but also, even when
      with adults, children and young people often utilise, experience and imagine
      these environments in different ways. Children and young people often feel
      the loss and destruction of cultures, social structures and environments
      very keenly and lose the security of spaces within which to map and play out
      their childhoods. Hence environmental change, exclusion and destruction have
      a profound effect on social justice and vice versa. For example, this can
      become particularly acute at times of natural disasters when children are
      extremely vulnerable during a disaster and in the post-disaster processes of
      'recovery'. The inequalities which pre-exist natural disasters are
      invariably exacerbated afterwards and children are often pushed into deeper
      states of insecurity. Similarly, urban restructuring dramatically disrupts
      the everyday experiences of young people in their neighbourhood public
      spaces, and delimits access to public education and affordable housing.

      Interestingly, while the protection of natural environments is often linked
      to social justice, and rhetoric invariably talks of 'saving' the environment
      for 'the children,' discourses surrounding the urban environment focus
      instead on keeping youth off the streets and saving them from 'bad'
      neighbourhoods. This session will interrogate these assumptions and examine
      the following questions, among others:

      * To what extent are children and young people active social participants in
      fights for social justice?
      * To what extent are children and young people active social participants in
      struggles related to the natural and urban environment?
      *In what ways do intersections of race/class/sexuality/gender/ethnicity
      inform social and environmental justice movements and the youth who choose
      to participate?
      * In what ways are children and young people included as part of the
      cultural and political conceptualisations of environmental and social
      justice? And how might they be?
      * What is the role of youth in reproducing and resisting urban
      * In what ways does environmental neglect (natural/urban) impact upon young
      people's and children's lives and how is this related to social justice?
      * What happens to children, young people and social justice in the
      context of natural and human-made (i.e. terrorist/state etc.) disasters?
      * Is it possible to challenge adultist perspectives around
      environmental and social justice? What does a youth perspective contribute?

      This session seeks papers which focus on children and young people and which
      critically examine the ways in which social power is played out through the
      wider contexts of social and environmental justice. The focus should also
      broaden out beyond children and young people to include the family,
      households, inter-generational relations and gender relations.

      Please send abstracts for consideration by October 9th to both
      Tracey and Caitlin
      t.l.skelton@... and caitlin.cahill@...

      Caitlin Cahill, Ph.D.
      Assistant Professor
      University of Utah
      Community Studies
      225 South 1400 East, Room 228
      Alfred Emery Building
      Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080




      "What people do officially is nothing compared with what they do in secret.
      People usually associate creativity with works of art, but what are works of
      art alongside the creative energy displayed by everyone a thousand times a
      day: seething unsatisfied desires, daydreams in search of a foothold in
      reality, feelings at once confused and luminously clear, ideas and gestures
      presaging nameless upheavals."-- Raoul Vaneigem, "The Revolution of Everyday
      Life," 1967

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