”Juvenocracy” – the politicization of children in climate change
2011 (English)In: Politics and Popular Culture 4, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
In April 2008, a possibility to ‘save the world at home’ was presented at the back of milk cartoons produced by Arla, purchased across Sweden. Coupled with various stories and tips on how to change the everyday practices of the family, this ambitious objective called upon children to look after their parents in climate change. ‘See through that your parents check the air pressure in the tires of the car’, exemplifies one of the typical statements that turn the relation between breeder and bred around. In this paper we present how children are empowered to exercise their potential power through technologies of responsibilization and various Internet-related technical solutions enhancing self-reflexivity and connectivity by fostering calculative capabilities. We also trace how these power relations have evolved from personnel management and the prohibition of child labour in factories during the 19th and 20th century, to the 1970s Swedish family legislation portraying children as ‘equal individuals’, ending in an ecological system’s networked society. The analysis illustrates how children are politicized in climate change to produce a ‘juvenocratic’ governmental rationality. This governmental rationality is increasingly operationalized through climate change risk politics, but can also be observed in more general biopolitics, as when pre-schoolers are brought to homes for elderly people to sing traditional songs and have common fruit pauses to ‘make the elderly eat more and healthier’ (June, 21st , 2011). While adults are incapacitated to work upon their self without children or the child within themselves, children are predicted to have the ability to foster everyday activities. This discourse produces the child as an authority and relay of expertise with capacity to stabilize the consumption of adults, by providing ethical guidelines intragenerationally, disseminated through what we conceptualize as ‘juvenocracy’.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-47576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-47576DiVA: diva2:455677
Politics and Popular Culture 4, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Nov. 2011.
QC 201111142011-11-102011-11-102011-11-14Bibliographically approved