AnthropoChildren, the little newcomer

To think about the child and childhood as well, obviously: how is it constructed, how does it construct itself, what place does it occupy and how can its voice be heard? Over a hundred academics responded to the Laboratory’s call. ‘That merely confirmed the necessity, which I had believed for a long time, of creating a journal which could not only show the diversity and the volume of the work carried out in the anthropology of childhood but also extend and deepen the reflection, notably theoretical, initiated by the conference in order to nourish the academic, social and political debates which deal with childhood.’ And then there was light, a little less than a year later, with the first issue of AnthropoChildren placed on line in February 2012.

This first issue, of which a good majority of the articles come from the inaugural lectures given by researchers at the conference, is a special issue. ‘It serves to establish the journal’s field and to mark out the directional contours which have been taken,’ confirms Elodie Razy. On reading the introduction one thus learns that the anthropological approach championed by the editors – Elodie Razy and Charles-Edouard de Suremain – and the editorial committee – which is made up of some thirty academics from the four corners of the globe – accords much importance to long term fieldwork and participant observation as an approach to research and a singular form of relationship in the process of constructing the subject. And Elodie Razy, who has in addition co-authored the introduction with Charles-Edouard de Suremain and Véronique Pache Huber, continues: ‘an important point we also back is that the anthropology of children and childhood, even if it constitutes a field in itself, cannot be isolated from the other domains which contribute to general anthropology (kinship, religion, economics, politics, etc.) or it runs the risk of de-contextualising the materials produced and not grasping the reality in all of its complexity.’ A clear and original position, ‘which not everyone necessarily agrees with,’ points out the anthropologist, but which aims to bring together and unify the different academic traditions which exist the world over.

Free access

AnthropoChildren will appear twice a year, in French and/or in English. And access to it is entirely and deliberately free. Explanations once again: ‘one of the aims of the journal is to allow a dialogue between research, teaching and the community in its widest sense (in other words all the professionals who work on childhood in European, Anglophone and so-called countries of the South). Behind this initiative there is a will to open out the academic field to try and have universes which are not necessarily in the habit of doing so dialogue with each other. Online free access to articles is the fundamental basis of this dialogue, which is at the same time ‘North-South’ on an academic level and ‘academic community-civil society’ in a wider sense: the no cost aspect allows a whole disadvantaged academic-scientific community to have access to academic content; the same goes for civil society institutions, which only rarely subscribe to this type of journal.’

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