Rethinking Children's Spaces and Places

  • 6 Pages
  • Published On: 6-11-2023

Blundell in Chapter 3 of his book ‘Spatiality and Understanding Children’s Lives’ Rethinking Children’s Spaces and Place, analyses the word spatiality from the broader social constructionist and how it shapes the understanding of the children’s lives. His perspectives on the term spatiality are derived from the works and ideas of Matthew and Limb. The chapter focuses on how we understand children and young people ‘lives in a way that is not grounded on nostalgic, romantic ideas or demonizing prejudices (Blundel 2. 51). It brings forth the geographical concept of space, place and spatiality to enhance how comprehension on how children live their lives as social actors.

Drawing evidence from vibrant and growing academic works, the authors focus on spatiality of children space and the places in which they stay, learn, work, and play. Additionally, he examines how the dynamic approaches of looking at space, locality and environment and how these can enhance rethinking concerning children lives in both local and worldwide levels.

Spatial turns are represented as no geological changes and emergencies that place mapping within the grasps of every child or young people. By turn, the author implies a flashback of glance at the reason why people come to be where they are, fixed open landscape. The author uses that as much as sociology shapes the lives of children with relation to culture related aspect, it is not exclusive. Space plays a vital role in shaping the lives of children (Blundel 2.53). That to understand an individual there is need to reflect the area in which they lived, in erosion their lives, time and where their history took place while they were young. The above is based on the idea that we do not just live in a kind of void space. Space is not an empty element along which social divisions become structured but to be regarded in terms of its participation in the constitution of the system of interaction.


Giving the general revision of Soja facoulitz and Giden, the author demonstrates that there is more concern with understanding how we see and use spatial ideas and how spatiality figures in the meaning of our lifeworld’s than in expressing eternal, universal and essential truths about space in the manner of Kant. Moreover, the author argues that interactive relationship between material and social practices leads to an understanding of spatiality as a fluid and volatile social construction. In this way using, Hembree's phrase is drenched in cultural meaning. Accordingly, space is not just a passive container or a medium of social life but an ingredient in the construction of human meaning.

He uses an example of McGregor who demonstrates the difference between the conception of space as a neutral container and spatiality as an active ingredient in the social world. In supporting the ideas of soju, who notes that space is an actual lived and socially constructed spatiality. The author notes that spatiality (actually lived) serves as a third possibility that destroys the dominant and dualistic way of comprehension that looks at space as a mental construction (conceived space) on the one hand or as a physical structure on the contrary (perceived space) (Blundel 2. 47) In this way, spatiality complements the sociological understanding. Space is not an empty dimension along which social grouping becomes structured. However, the pace has to be regarded in term of its involvement in the system of interactions. Space can take the form of a place, activity, position or discursive.

The author demonstrates that both perceived and conceived space are complimented, enhanced and challenged by the lived space. Space and place are vital contributors to the construction of the social realities. Throughout the chapter, the author argues that the view of space complements the understanding of childhood as a separate domain in which the children are expected to live their lives and thread their pathway towards becoming normal adults. The author suggests that just the way Teather’s work presented space as a social phenomenon bound together in different and changing fluid network of activities and of place as a volatile relational and constructed through human meaning. Soja’s interest in lived space encourages individual to question institutional rigidities through the personal sense of children as the social actor (Blundel 2. 60).

From the studies he analyses and compares, one significant thing emerges out. There is need to avoid the simple o overarching definitions place and spatiality and live with a pluralistic way of seeing which does not reduce to one dimensionally exact formulae and potentially oppressive patterns. Using the above, the author agrees that to some level these studies affirms to and echoes an assertion made by scholars such as Matthew and Limb. They who notes that children come in all shapes and sizes and can be differentiated along serval dimensions such as race, gender, health and age.

It is pointed out that it is significant to comprehend the significance of many childhoods and the definition of a universal child. In this case, who the child is (class, gender and even personality) and where the child comes from (space and time) brings out significance situations that are very crucial in understanding the complex and multiple realities of children lives. Using the research by Matthew and Limb, the author offers these even propositions as a spur and guide in children geographies that have an understanding of the spatiality of their lives (Blundel 2. 58). These proposals include the social constructions, the different land use, free range and reconstruction, environmental interpretation and evaluation. Additionally, he provides children and decision making as well as learning constitutional responsibilities.

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The spatiality of children differs in term of time and space. To explain this, the author uses the spatiality of a year modern language class in a mobile classroom at 3.00 Pm on a Thursday, and a ten-year math class in the same room at 3.00 AM on a Monday(Blundel 2. 55). A close look at the two settings reveals that space is organized in schools thus produces particular social relations. Rather than being an arena of social ties, an area is made through the social. It is continually created and recreated.


Blundell, D., & Jones, P. (2016). Rethinking Children's Spaces and Places. Bloomsbury Publishing.

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