Garlen, J.C., Chang-Kredl, S., Farley, L., Sonu, D.
Childhood innocence and experience: Memory, discourse and practice
(2020) Children and Society.
This article examines how childhood innocence is taken up in (92) memories of undergraduate students across four sites in the US and Canada. Drawing from Foucault’s theory of discourse, we examine how three themes—innocence as not knowing, innocence as being provided for, and loss of innocence as exposure to adversity—construct childhood as the absence of conflict, which perpetuates the myth of an innocence/experience binary and encourages a deficit perspective of childhood. These findings contribute to teacher education and childhood studies by highlighting the importance of interrogating adult memories in order to disrupt normative assumptions about children. © 2020 National Children’s Bureau and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
childhood innocence; discourse analysis; memories