London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Child social participation and active citizenship

Author(s) M. J. Sarmento, Natália Soares e Catarina Tomás  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2004  
Editor A. Ross, The Experience of Citizenship  
Language English  
Age group -  
The Sociology of Childhood has come to consider childhood as a social construction and to understand the children as full, competent, active social actors and with 'voice'. However, in the current speech on the citizenship, they still remain the traditional formulas and classic principles that restrict the citizenship to the adult age. At the same time re-interpretative concepts of the citizenship that submit it to neo-conservative, authoritarian and disciplinary conceptions emerge, when reducing the idea of the public participation to the submission to the duties of convergence with the social norm. It is not, however, possible to consider the debate of the citizenship, without fitting in the conflict process of construction of the global reflectivity and without fitting in the new social and family forms, the changes in the structure of the social inequalities, the changes in the relations of gender, the relations between generations and same organization in the relations between peers. These new marks contribute for an enormous diversity of living in society, what it implies the redefinition of new papers, new spaces and new voices in the exercise of the citizenship. Traditionally, the citizen by excellence was the adult man, of such form that the women, slaves and over all the young and, still more, the children were not considered as such. In these cases, he could himself be said in citizenship for delegation and others of 'embryonic', citizen in project or, but in none tramway-car case to which if recognizes and if it harnesses its statute of full members of the community and the society. Also the increasing importance that in our societies the dynamic related with the incorporation of the new generations in the social life had acquired, compels to rethink the citizenship concept.

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