The Journey of Becoming Involved in Urban Spaces by Children with Diverse Mobility
Stafford, Lisa (2014) The Journey of Becoming Involved in Urban Spaces by Children with Diverse Mobility. In Buccieri, Kristy (Ed.) Body Tensions: Beyond Corporeality in Time and Space. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 97-120.
Participation is a word frequently espoused in the literature of childhood and urban studies. It has also been made sacrosanct through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other rights-based policy and programming. Despite this importance, what it means and how it is experienced in the everyday lives of children with diverse abilities is not well understood. This chapter provides insight into the everyday experiences of participation by ten children 9-12 years of age, who have diverse personal mobility from various physical conditions that affect muscle and movement differently, including: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases. The children participants live in the outer suburbs and inner regions of south-east Queensland, Australia. The chapter discusses a new way of understanding and theorising participation as a journey of becoming involved. This knowledge emerged through the children’s body-space-time routines (body ballets) and their descriptions of inhabiting urban space. This chapter also establishes how body-space-context interplays shape the experiences of becoming and being involved in everyday life, as well as the preconceptions of body embed in space which divide and constrain children and families actualisation of full and genuine participation.
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