Challenging legacies: rearticulating 'honour' and 'the child'

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In this paper I trace the combined origins and variations of the trope of ‘honour’ and the figure of ‘the child’: from medieval Europe to contemporary postcolonial contexts. What remains constant are the cultural and political agendas fulfilled in the name of the child, in particular as a warrant fuelling religious and racialised persecution. This background to child protection poses considerable challenges to educationalists and advocates for children. However, engaging with these gives rise, I argue, to positive strategies for change: firstly, to illuminate the wider agendas constellated around ‘the child’ – and so better identify whose ‘honour’ (and whose interests) is at stake; secondly, to attend to the gendered and cultural dynamics that surround children, including their interplay with questions of national identity and cultural reproduction; thirdly, a feminist and social justice perspective to questions of culture and honour neither exonerates violence in the name of cultural respect, nor ignores the complexity of power relations through which such evaluations are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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