ABSTRACT

This chapter moves on from the reflexive and disciplinary-specific concerns to critically explicate a specific theme: the relationship between models of childhood and modernity as mobilised, parodied, and—it is argued—ultimately reconstructed within significant debates claiming to transcend, or that we no longer inhabit, modernity. It argues that Benjamin’s conceptualisation of children and childhood, in its critique of modernity, anticipates discussions about postmodernity but also avoids some of their pitfalls. The chapter anticipates Millei’s exploration of implicit pedagogies of nation as well as earlier discussions of the pedagogical state formulated by governmentality-influenced social theorists. It explores questions of the subjectivities elaborated within accounts of postmodernity by juxtaposing readings of two theorists of contemporary politics and philosophy, the very project of the pursuit of truth becomes suspect, and such claims to do so become topics of scrutiny as motivating narratives that patently depart from that which they proclaim.