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New Research in the Geographies of Children, Youth & Young Adults 2 (Session 2 de 2)

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15:30, Tuesday 9 May 2023 EDT (1 hour 30 minutes)

Chair: Nick Revington, INRS

Childism in Children’s Geographies: Can we have it both ways?    
Ann Marie Murnaghan, York University

The concept of childism has received varied treatment in the study children, childhood, and youth in the last 50 years. On the one hand, childism has referred to the anti-child opinions and behaviours of adults, influenced by the work of psychoanalyst and political scholar Elisabeth Young-Breuhl in her 2011 text Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children. On the other hand, a pro-child version of the concept has also emerged from the work of John Wall (2019), in the sense of an academic and activist movement designed to foreground the importance of acting and creating rules in the (purported) interests of the child. This paper intends to address how these two theoretical stances can stand together and apart, how the field of Children’s Geographies might benefit from a psychoanalytic perspective on the treatment of young people, and assess where each approach would be more useful. By questioning whether these two opposing meanings of the term can productively live together in the study of children and childhood, I inquire about the purpose of research questions and their relation to the “best interests of the child.”

Who changed their time in outdoor recreation during the pandemic?          
Zakara Stampp, Sarah Abdunnabi, Gina Martin, Kendra Nelson Ferguson, Stephanie E. Coen, Jason Gilliland, Western University

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted where youth spend their time, including time spent outdoors. A gap exists, understanding the demographic characteristics of youth who experienced changes in their time spent outdoors during the pandemic. Research question: What demographic characteristics are related to changes in outdoor recreation time since the pandemic in a sample of Canadian youth aged 13-19? Methods: A nominal logistic regression was performed on survey data collected from the QuaranTEENing study (n = 1609; Mage = 15.28, SD = 1.24; 50.59% boys, 66.31% White).Results: For every 1-year age increase, the odds of spending less time outdoors were lower compared to no change. Ethnic minorities have higher odds of spending both less and more time outdoors compared to white adolescents. Comparing youth with parents holding post graduate degrees, youth with a parent/guardian who completed high school or elementary school had lower odds of spending less time outdoors; youth with parents who completed their college diploma had lower odds of spending more time outdoors; and youth with parents who completed post graduate degrees had higher odds of spending more time outdoors. Rural youth had lower odds of spending more time outdoors compared to adolescents living non-rurally. Finally, those who perceived their neighbourhood more favourably had lower odds of spending less time outdoors compared to those did not. Implications: Understanding Canadian youth demographic profiles will assist in ensuring the proper interventions and supports will be implemented should we experience another similar event where youth outdoors activity has been restricted.

Towards new imaginaries of urban childhoods: Re-reading suburban spatiotemporalities via reflexive reading of fleeting video data    
Haifa AlArasi, University of Toronto

Written in response to the halt prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, this paper is a reflexive autoethnographic piece with an intentional attempt of slowing down and capturing forgotten affective field experiences while giving due attention to a small subset of data that has been relegated to the margins of an ongoing mobility study that engaged immigrant adolescents in the city of Mississauga, Canada. In it, I challenge the epistemes of child-friendly cities arguing that they are reductively problematic as they propel a universal mode of childhood that is premised on colonial, Eurocentric constructions bounded by innocence. Through revisiting reductively coded visual data produced by a subgroup of male participants, and framing them within radical rationalities (including feminist, abolitionist, and critical reframings), I centre fleeting rhythms as modes of rereading the urban. Findings pointed to futile practices and rhythms that are synchronous to suburban neoliberal temporalities and embedded in racist, neoliberal orders (including for example commuting to intensive summer schooling program) that is continuously countered by fleeting, devalued, and pathologized adolescent rhythms including community time, leisure time, play time, and wasted time. Based on these findings I argue for a reorientation that necessitate the need to embed readings of excluded childhood practices (based on socioeconomic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds) as productive futurities beyond adult-centred constructions of everyday urban life.

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