CCYSC Blog Theme for September 2021: Locked Down - Children and Spatiality during the Pandemic

Updated: Aug 8

We are excited to announce the CCYSC Blog Theme for September 2021: “Locked Down: Children’s understanding of spatiality during the pandemic.

Space does not derive its meaning solely out of its material dimensions or elements but from the social interactions within it in the context of power relations. Massey (1999) viewed spatiality as the social production of space, while Appadurai (1996) believed social phenomena are constituted through location and materiality. A dialectical view of space focuses on this relationship between materiality, social actors, and cultural conditions. Children’s identities are formed through space and spatial ideology, which also shapes their understanding of various environments (Holloway and Valentine 2000). The three main sites in a child’s world, the home, school, and urban spaces, contribute to their spatial disciplining (James et al. 1998).

Homes are considered ‘imaginative spaces’ for the people within them (Stevenson and Prout 2013). Holloway and Valentine (2000) look at schools and homes as porous spaces connected through social networks. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by governments to combat it have acutely altered such spatial frameworks and have especially restricted the spatial mobility of children. The large number of ‘quarantine babies’, i.e. children born during or just before the pandemic, calls for a look at their unique perspective of spatiality brought on by indoor lives. The erasure of separate spaces for study and play and the rise of issues of parental surveillance must be highlighted. In terms of both the physical and imaginative connotations of the terms, being ‘space-poor’ or ‘space-rich’ is crucial in determining one’s experience over the pandemic.

This theme looks at the intertwining material, discursive, and performative constructions of space in South Asia and children’s understanding of the socio-spatial structures that reproduce power relations in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It looks at the divergence between ideas of space and its physical realities and the modifications in the same caused by lockdowns. How have the material aspects of space affected its imaginative aspects and opportunities for agency and privacy? How has the pandemic changed children’s conceptions of public and private spaces? How has the absence of the material elements associated with schooling affected children’s relationship with education? How have caste and class, and subsequent differences in the material space available, led to differing situations for children’s spatialities? What are the new forms of intra-family conflict that have emerged under this limitation of spatial agency? The theme is not restricted to children in their formative years and can incorporate older children and youth- who may perceive that their personal space has been lost or breached by the stay-at-home rules or find that they are forced by circumstances to reside with their parents.


We invite submissions from adults and children relevant to the theme of “ Locked Down: Children’s understanding of spatiality during the pandemic.” Submissions can be made in a wide variety of genres and media: academic papers, essays, research articles, or creative submissions in the form of fiction, poetry, video, audio, or mixed media and photo essays, and articles focusing on classroom pedagogies. Written contributions should not be more than 1500-2000 words. For video contributions, please ensure that the file size is not more than 10 GB. All material should be sent to childyouth2020@gmail.com. Please send your submissions by 2 September 2021.


Feel free to circulate this call in your networks. We look forward to your engagement with our theme!

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