This article is an introduction to the special issue dedicated to exploring the ways in which childhood and youth have been shaped by Atlantic and global dynamics. It explores some of the methodological and theoretical challenges of writing a history of childhood and youth in the Global South. The authors suggest that current theories which address the experiences of young people do not adequately consider the historical specificities of childhood and youth in colonial contexts. In particular, they maintain that there are at least four distinctive factors that shaped young people's experiences. These include the racialization of childhood and youth, attempts to reshape the boundaries of childhood and youth to reflect the priorities of colonial states, the existence of colonial narratives which articulated childhood and youth in terms of deviance and pathology, and the presence of non-Western notions about young people which acted in opposition to colonial impositions despite the severity of the power imbalance. Furthermore, the article argues that while there may be a need to develop a theory that works for children in the Global South, historians should by no means abandon empiricism or develop an over reliance on generalizations that do not adequately consider historical context. Finally, the authors suggest that historians need to rely on nontraditional sources and develop new narratives for articulating the experiences of young people.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Africa, Caribbean, Childhood, Children's rights, Methodology, Youth
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2014.972246
Journal Atlantic Studies Global Currents
Citation
Diptee, A, & Trotman, D.V. (David V.). (2014). Atlantic childhood and youth in global context: Reflections on the Global South. Atlantic Studies Global Currents, 11(4), 437–448. doi:10.1080/14788810.2014.972246