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Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture

Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture

ISBN 9781138230330
Publication Date
Publisher Routledge
Author(s)
Overview

Bringing together new perspectives in childhood studies and animal studies, this book is the first collection to critically address the manifold alignments and frequent co-constitutions of children and pets in our families, our cultures, and our societies. The cultural politics of power shaping relationships between children, pets, and adults inform the wide range of essays included in this collection, as they explore issues such as protection, discipline, mastery, wildness, play, and domestication. The volume use the frequent social and cultural intersections between children and pets as an opportunity to analyze institutions that create pet and child subjectivity, from education and training to putting children and pets on display for entertainment purposes. Essays analyze legal discourses, visual culture, literature for children and adults, migration narratives, magazines for children, music, and language socialization to discuss how notions of nationalism, race, gender, heteronormativity, and speciesism shape cultural constructions of children and pets. Examining childhood and pethood in America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, this collection shows how discourses linking children and pets are pervasive and work across cultures. By presenting innovative approaches to the child and the pet, the book brings to light alternative paths toward understanding these figures, leading to new openings and questions about kinship, agency, and the power of care that so often shapes our relationships with children and animals. This will be an important volume for scholars of animal studies, childhood studies, children’s literature, cultural studies, political theory, education, art history, and sociology.

Overview

Bringing together new perspectives in childhood studies and animal studies, this book is the first collection to critically address the manifold alignments and frequent co-constitutions of children and pets in our families, our cultures, and our societies. The cultural politics of power shaping relationships between children, pets, and adults inform the wide range of essays included in this collection, as they explore issues such as protection, discipline, mastery, wildness, play, and domestication. The volume use the frequent social and cultural intersections between children and pets as an opportunity to analyze institutions that create pet and child subjectivity, from education and training to putting children and pets on display for entertainment purposes. Essays analyze legal discourses, visual culture, literature for children and adults, migration narratives, magazines for children, music, and language socialization to discuss how notions of nationalism, race, gender, heteronormativity, and speciesism shape cultural constructions of children and pets. Examining childhood and pethood in America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, this collection shows how discourses linking children and pets are pervasive and work across cultures. By presenting innovative approaches to the child and the pet, the book brings to light alternative paths toward understanding these figures, leading to new openings and questions about kinship, agency, and the power of care that so often shapes our relationships with children and animals. This will be an important volume for scholars of animal studies, childhood studies, children’s literature, cultural studies, political theory, education, art history, and sociology.

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