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This entry introduces the term ‘childhood publics’. Publics describe a cultural and political phenomenon involving the assembly of people around matters of common care and concern. The concept provides a way of bringing experiences of childhood closer to political imaginaries and public life. This entry begins with a short history of publics. This entry further explores children’s exclusion from publics, publics as situational configurations of strangers, childhood idioms, and the future of publics and children’s potential place in them.

A Short History of Publics

The theory and practice of gathering around issues of common concern is as old as democracy itself, even if its forms and objects of concern have evolved in response to contemporary realities. Jürgen Habermas, amongst others, has argued that the public sphere, a ...

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