Childhood innocence: essence, education, and performativity

Robbie Duschinsky

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    This article will argue that representations of ‘childhood innocence’ do not express a prior and pure essence, but rather produce such representations performatively, through the separation of the pure and natural from the impure and corrupting. Innocence can be understood as a discourse constructing a relationship between subjectivities and their essence, whilst at the same time effacing the signs of this process of construction. Beginning with an analysis of Frank Wedekind's Mine-Haha, it will be suggested that in modern societies discourses can be mobilised to serve to protect and cultivate some individuals, but that they also operate powerful mechanisms of social exclusion, stratification, and normalisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)763-781
    JournalTextual Practice
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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