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The Cosmopolitanization of Childhood: Eco-Knowledge in Children's Eco-Edutainment Books

Journal article
Authors Bengt Larsson
Published in Young
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 199-218
ISSN 1103-3088
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 199-218
Language en
Keywords environmental education, sustainable development, governmentality, discipline, children’s edutainment books
Subject categories Sociology


This article discusses one particular aspect of the cosmopolitanization of childhood by analyzing children’s ‘eco-edutainment’ books, giving advice on how to save the world from environmental catastrophe. Its purpose is to analyze how such books articulate and spread ‘eco-knowledge’, encouraging children to become environmentally aware world citizens. The analysis shows that these books urge children and pre-teens not only to become self-disciplined and caring, ethical ‘ecological selves’, but also to partake in producing local eco-knowledge and monitoring ecodiscipline in their families, schools and local communities. The interconnection of problems, blame, possibilities, responsibilities, commitment and tactics and techniques made in these books articulates a persuasive and potentially mobilizing discourse. By simultaneously empowering the children, stimulating their cosmopolitical commitment and suggesting certain techniques and tactics for improving their families’ and schools’ environmental performances, these books encourage children to identify with a duty of becoming cosmopolitical problem solvers.

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