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child +‎ -ism


childism (countable and uncountable, plural childisms)

  1. Responding to children's particular lived experiences
    • 2005, Leerom Medovoi, Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity, →ISBN, page 75:
      Twain and Salinger's common genius, Heiserman and Miller suggest, lay in their masterful use of a colloquial American adolescent's voice to convey their respective "childism," by which they mean the nostalgic wish to recover our inner Adamic child.
    • 2012, Marcia J. Bunge, Children, Adults, and Shared Responsibilities, →ISBN, page 137:
      If nothing else, a project in childism would ask those who study ethics to reflect on whether they are considering the challenge of childhood.
    • 2012 Spring/Summer, David Cloutier, “Ethics in Light of Childhood (review)”, in Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, volume 32, number 1:
      He rightly suggests that “the story of childhood cannot be told in one-dimensional formulas of either innocence and vulnerability or unruliness and undevelopment” (7), but instead require a new paradigm for ethics: “childism.”
    • 2013, John Wall, “2 All the world's a stage”, in The Philosophy of Play:
      Using an approach that I call 'childism', which I will say more about below, I wish to look not at how conceptions of play may be applied to children, but instead at how the experiences of children may be applied to conceptions of play.
    • 2017, “A Political space for children? The age order and children's right to participation”, in Social Inclusion, volume 5, number 3Jeanette Sundhall:
      The article examines the kind of resistance children and youth can meet when participating in democratic processes, with examples of speech acts from the Gothenburg Youth Council. It also discusses the theoretic concept of childism (Wall, 2008, 2010) and how childism can be a way to escape the dominance of adulthood norms.
  2. Empowering children as an oppressed group
  3. Prejudice and/or discrimination against the young.
  4. (countable) A child-like insight or behavior made by an adult
    • 2003, Joseph Assante, Wisdom of a Lifetime: Things I Would Want You to Know If I Died Tomorrow, →ISBN, page 34:
      About the same time I was working on my life is a circle theory, I was also working on a childism that could define human behavior and explain why people behave the way they do and predict their behavior.
    • 2016, “Disciplining Children in Toronto Playgrounds in the Early Twentieth CenturyAnn Marie F. Murnaghan”, in Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures:
      Apart from categorizing her clients' childisms through the several case histories in her book, Young-Bruehl also applies her schema to the Child Savers of the late nineteenth century in order to highlight the transhistorical nature of this kind of treatment ...
    • 2017 May, Lorna Martens, “Mood, Voice, and the Question of the Narrator in Third-Person Fiction”, in Narrative, volume 25, number 2:
      . Some of these childisms are: (1) “Thimble-drinker … He lived in a cara-van. Dum dum.” All of these childisms originate in childhood incidents ...


  • Hunt, Peter (1991), Criticism, Theory, and Children’s Literature. Cambridge, MA: Basic Blackwell. [1]
  • Wall, John (2007), “Fatherhood, Childism, and the Creation of Society,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 75.1:52-76.
  • Wall, John (2010), Ethics in Light of Childhood. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. [1]
  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth (2009), Childism — Prejudice Against Children [1]