This book is a detailed study of children’s everyday practices in a small, deprived neighbourhood of post-socialist Bratislava, called Kop?any. It provides a novel empirical insight on what it is like to be growing up after 25 years of post-socialist transformations and questions the formation of children’s agency and the multitude of resources it comes from.
What happens if we accept children’s practices as cornerstones of communities? What is uncovered if we examine adults' co-presence with children in everyday community spaces? With a background in youth work, the author writes from the unique position of being able to develop in-depth insights into both children’s life-worlds, and practitioners’ priorities and needs.
Matej Blazek is Lecturer in Human Geography at the Loughborough University, UK. He is a social geographer with a particular interest in the geography of marginalisation, childhood, migration and emotions. He is also active in community youth work as a practitioner and trainer.
Locating the field;
Practising the field;
Thinking the field;
Public spaces of Kop?any;
The body and embodiment;
Everyday social encounters and circumscribed routines;
Notions of social identity;
Rematerialising children’s agency.
"[Blazek's] dynamic, interactive, and reflexive approach to discovery is based on a strong foundation in theory but is not limited by it...[This] book offers a springboard for further studies on the socio-political and cultural relevance of child agency." Slavic Review
"Inspirational for both academics and practitioners, this book draws extensively on rich empirical data and original field notes as well as being grounded in the relevant literatures. It offers many thoughts on the details of everyday life and the ethics of studying this." Bettina van Hoven, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
"Based in rich, insightful empirical analyses, this important book offers a unique theory of children’s social-political action, both rooted in and effective beyond local places. A timely intervention into contemporary academic debates about children’s agency." Peter Kraftl, University of Birmingham