Between the Contrasts of Children's Bodies: Innocence, Evil and Autonomy


This study reveals how the child's body was categorized in the historical process. Throughout history, discussion sabout the child's body have also affected the definition sabout childhood. The claim that childhood was not considered as a separate category from adulthood in the Middle Ages was based on the perceptions about the child's body (disguise, age, etc.) by historians. The idea that limiting the child's body to a chronological period or the idea that it is the natural reflection of adulthood makes it difficult to grasp the contrary practices of childhood, ranging from innocence to evil. For this reason, the concepts of field, capitaland habitus used by the Pierre Bourdieu are recommended as theoretical tools to analyze children's practices better. In this way, it is aimed to discuss the child's body andchild'sworld from a relational perspective. According to Bourdieu, habitus begins in childhood and childhood is at the center of sociality that structures perception, thoughts and practices. The habitus of childhood is built with the practices of institutions that turn to the body, especially the family and school. Simultaneously with this construction, childhood is established as an autonomous area, and socializes as an active subject.The research suggests that the sociological potential of childhood can be analyzed by Bourdieu's conceptualization of “autonomous space”, acting on the fact that childhood has been interpreted as opposed to innocence to evil throughout history.


Body childhood innocence habitus field