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Philosophical Perspectives on Childhood and Youth

Key information

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Module description

What is it to be a child or a ‘young person’? How have these categories been applied to us, and by us, in our own lives, and how have they been applied elsewhere? These categories powerfully shape our personal and social worlds and social scientific analysis. For example, they create a whole range of hierarchies, relationships and social opportunities. At the same time these are not at all simple categories and we may have very different, and sometimes conflicting, intuitions about them. Indeed they throw up fundamental philosophical questions – about the nature of reality, about how we do and should make knowledge claims that rely on categories such as ‘children’, and about whether (and how) we can ethically defend  the range of ways we treat people by deploying such categories. This module provides a guide to recognising and tackling these philosophical questions and to exploring their practical relevance. It does so by starting from the personal experiences of course members along with contrasting case studies of diverse life courses.

Assessment details

  • 3,000 word essay (worth 100%) 

Module description disclaimer

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Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.