First Steps: A Primer on the Geographies of Children and Youth

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology/Edited Book


First steps are synonymous with childhood. The physical act of a baby taking her/his ‘first steps’ is one of the milestones that the child’s Significant Others’ (especially parents) cherish most, and their recollections of the event quickly become an integral part of the ‘family legend’ that is constructed from everyday life. Metaphorically, childhood is a series of ‘first steps’ which children take, either informally (e.g. the gradual relaxation of parents’/guardians’ rules over when and where their children can access spaces beyond the home independently of adults and older
children), or formally (e.g. the incremental bestowal of rights and ‘access’ by legal and other institutions as a young person ages). Many of these ‘first steps’ are celebrated (particularly those taken by younger children) and instil in Significant Adults that improbable mix of pride and amusement (e.g. the audience’s reaction to the baby ballerinas in the dancing display), while others are feared (particularly those taken by youth, e.g. first sexual encounters) or misunderstood (why don’t Sk8tr boiz care about how they look?).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Geographical Society
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780902447233
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • children's geographies
  • play areas
  • parenting
  • child development
  • relationships
  • writers


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