‘You don’t realise they’re helping you until you realise they’re helping you’: reconceptualising adultism through community music

Callum Sutherland*, Francesca Calò, Artur Steiner, Ellen Vanderhoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Recent work in children’s geographies and geographies of education has presented the argument that when conceptualising the various roles that adults occupy in children’s lives, it is equally important to conceptualise adultism. In this paper we argue that this existing work critiques adultism’s logics but does not adequately conceptualise adultism’s structural and scalar spatialities. We reconceptualise adultism as a structural and scalar phenomenon by examining our case study of a community music programme designed to reconnect children with their ‘learning identities’. We borrow the spatial metaphor of ‘chains’ from human geography’s postcapitalist literature to highlight how adultism structurally pervades this space of resistance, underscoring the more broadly applicable point that practices of resistance that fail to address adultism’s co-creative relationships with other structures of domination can end-up reasserting adultist relations. However, towards the end of the paper we argue that this reconceptualisation of adultism does not mean community music (or other critical pedagogies) should be abandoned, rather illustrating how the organisation in our case study innovate in order to address adultism’s structural and scalar facets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalChildren's Geographies
Early online date11 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • adultism
  • human scale
  • learning
  • community music
  • performance
  • scale

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