Refiguration of childhoods in the context of digitalization: a cross-cultural comparison of children's spatial constitutions of well-being

Toby Fattore, Susann Fegter, Christine Hunner-Kreisel

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Children's well-being has become the subject of attention in international comparative studies of childhood. The concept is central to understanding childhoods and generational orders within societies. Current challenges in conceptualizing children's well-being include addressing the normativity of well-being, how children themselves conceptualize well-being, and how this is embedded in social and cultural contexts. This is especially true with regard to the spatiality of well-being. How well-being is spatially constructed in children's narratives is rarely addressed by child well-being researchers. In this article, we assume that a better understanding of the spatiality of well-being will be helpful in disclosing the dynamics and characteristics of well-being. We offer findings from a multinational qualitative study to demonstrate the value of spatial analysis for understanding the social refiguration of childhoods beyond methodological nationalism. We draw upon examples from Baku (Azerbaijan), Geneva (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Sydney (Australia), and Tel Aviv (Israel). Our findings indicate that the exercise of agency, the democratization of childhoods, and the importance of having a translocal digital "own space" are significant norms central to and expressed in children's understandings of well-being. A structural feature of the current refiguration of childhoods is that it is always specific to local conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages35
JournalForum Qualitative Sozialforschung
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • childhood
  • cross-cultural comparison
  • digitization
  • evaluative differentiations
  • figurational sociology
  • methodological nationalism
  • qualitative research
  • refiguration of spaces
  • self-concepts
  • sociology of space
  • spatial analysis
  • well-being


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