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Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child
by Jacob Breslow
University of Minnesota Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-5179-0822-5 | Cloth: 978-1-5179-0821-8
Library of Congress Classification HQ792.U5B74 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.230973

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

Explores childhood in relation to blackness, transfeminism, queerness, and deportability to interrogate what “the child” makes possible


The concept of childhood contains many contested and ambivalent meanings that have extraordinary implications, particularly for those staking their claim for belonging and justice on the wish for inclusion within it. In Ambivalent Childhoods, Jacob Breslow examines contemporary U.S. social justice movements (including Black Lives Matter, transfeminism, queer youth activism, and antideportation movements) to discover and reveal how childhood operates within and against them.


Ambivalent Childhoods brings together critical race, trans, feminist, queer, critical migration, and psychoanalytic theories to explore the role of childhood in shaping and challenging the disposability of young black life, the steadfastness of the gender binary, the queer life of children’s desires, and the precarious status of migrants. Through an engagement with“the psychic life of the child” that combines theoretical discussions of childhood, blackness, transfeminism, and deportability with critical readings of films, narrative, images, and social justice movements, Breslow demonstrates how childhood requires sustained attention as a complex and ambivalent site for contesting the workings of power, not only for the young. 


Ambivalent Childhoods is a forward-thinking and intersectional analysis of how childhood affects activism, national belonging, and the violence directed against queer, trans, and racialized people. 


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