Theorising young children’s spaces

Lesley Anne Gallacher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter considers the spaces in which young children live their lives, and how these spaces are caught up with how societies understand young children and early childhood. It identifies three broad ways of theorising the spaces in which young children live their lives, and considers how these both reflect and produce young children’s position within society. First, the chapter considers those, adult-designated, spaces for young children that are so common in the minority world, which are intended to protect young children from the dangers of the adult world and to shape and ‘improve’ them in line with a range of desired outcomes (both developmental and societal). Second, the chapter explores theories of young children’s spaces, which emphasise the active role that young children play in responding to and shaping the spaces around them. Finally, the chapter develops ideas of inhabiting young children’s spaces to develop and consider a more vital account of the materiality of the spaces in which young children live, which moves beyond beyond the dualistic accounts that have tended to dominate post-Enlightenment Western thought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sage Handbook of Early Childhood Research
EditorsAnn Farrell, Sharon Lynn Kagan, E. Kay M. Tisdall
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages576
ISBN (Print)9781446272190
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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