From children’s services to children’s spaces

Peter Moss

in Children, young people and social inclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9781861346629
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301820 | DOI:
From children’s services to children’s spaces

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This chapter is about ‘public provisions for children’. This term encompasses a wide range of out-of-home settings where groups of children come together, from schooling, through a range of early childhood, play and out-of-school services as well as group residential settings, to lightly structured spaces for children's outdoor, unsupervised play. This is treated as a dominant understanding in the UK today, producing public provisions as primarily technical and disciplinary undertakings, concerned with regulation, surveillance and normalisation, and instrumental in rationality and purpose. The chapter also considers another social construction with a different rationality and purpose: public provisions understood as ‘children's spaces’. It argues that the meanings people attach to public provisions for children are inextricably linked with social constructions of childhood and our image of the child, which are taken to be contestable subjects produced in the social arena.

Keywords: early childhood; unsupervised play; public provisions; UK; social constructions

Chapter.  7730 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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