Talking politics in everyday family lives

Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa; Varvantakis, Christos and Aruldoss, Vinnarasan. 2017. Talking politics in everyday family lives. Contemporary Social Science, 12(1-2), pp. 68-83. ISSN 2158-2041 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

How do children encounter and relate to public life? Drawing on evidence from ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2014 and 2016 for the ERC-funded Connectors Study on the relationship between childhood and public life, this paper explores how children encounter public life in their everyday family environments. Using the instance of political talk as a practice through which public life is encountered in the home, the data presented fill important gaps in knowledge about the lived experience of political talk of younger children. Working with three family histories where political talk was reported by parents to be a practice encountered in their own childhoods and one which they continued in the present amongst themselves as a couple/parents, we make two arguments: that children’s political talk, where it occurs, is idiomatic and performative; and that what is transmitted across generations is the practice of talking politics. Drawing on theories of everyday life developed by Michel de Certeau and others we explore the implications of these findings for the dominant social imaginaries of conversation, and for how political talk is researched.

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Political talk, socialisation, childhood, generation, transmission, comparative ethnography

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14 June 2017Published
6 May 2017Accepted

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Date Deposited:

10 Jan 2018 16:44

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2020 17:14

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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