Children in the Anthropocene: How Are They Implicated?

Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


There has been much debate about where the boundaries lie that would mark the arrival of the new epoch of the Anthropocene. There have been a number of possibilities proposed: the start of the Industrial revolution in the eighteenth century or the beginning in the mid-twentieth century known as the great acceleration of population, carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, plastic production, and the beginning of nuclear age with the first atomic bombs spreading detectable radiation to every stratum of the planet. But for many scholars in the humanities, these arguments are not as relevant as what taking up the premise or challenge of the Anthropocene provides. As an unsettling ontology that disrupts a persistent “humanist” paradigm, the concept of the Anthropocene allows new conversations to happen around human-dominated global change, human exceptionalism, and the nature/culture divide. In this chapter through stories from fieldwork with children in La Paz, I will propose the means for considering the ontological openings of the naming of the Anthropocene for the field of childhoodnature.


Anthropocene Sustainability Mobilities Enmeshed Childdogbodies Human exceptionalism Haraway Nonhuman Entanglements 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationFaculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amy Cutter-Mackenzie
    • 1
  • Karen Malone
    • 2
  • Marianne Krasny
    • 3
  • Hilary Whitehouse
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Education, Gold Coast CampusSouthern Cross UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Educational ResearchWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.James Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

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