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The academic study of the child and childhood takes a variety of approaches to its objects of study. Empirical work in fields such as sociology and psychology, for example, offers observations and resulting interpretations of data concerning actual children. At the same time, theoretical work in these and many other fields, such as geography and cultural studies, simultaneously question accounts of the child on two-related grounds: (1) that they are subject to the partiality and limitations of any such truth claim; and (2) that adult views of children are necessarily incomplete, if not downright inaccurate by virtue of the difference between these two categories of existence. The theoretical concept of figuration belongs to the latter of these approaches. This entry offers a definition of figuration ...

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