chapter  10
Ethics and techno-childhood
ByDAVID OSWELL
Pages 15

For some the break from childhood is easily healed. It signifies nothing more than the smooth transition to adulthood. For others it marks a terrible chasm; not merely a break, but a tremendous wound: a wound unhealable. For these others, adulthood is a form of exile. We have been outlawed and thrown out of our homeland, our social order. An unhappy consciousness. Our unhappi­ ness is not due to our being prohibited from returning to childhood, but in our understanding that there can never, never be a return to such a land. There is no telos, no tree-rooted bed, only partial resting places; homes that are good enough; places in which adulthood is provisionally settled. The accomplishment of such settlings cannot be accounted for in the heroic and epic tales of foundational social theory nor can they be recounted in a post­ modern anti-foundationalism.1 These stories of provisional settlings are altogether more ‘down-to-earth’, more ordinary.