This talk will reflect on the initial stages of a project that seeks to instigate a critical analysis of 'plastic childhoods'. It will cut through manifold concerns about the state of contemporary Western childhoods to examine the many ways in which children's lives are entangled with the plastics circulating through social, ecological, hydrological and technological systems. It will consider the development of novel interdisciplinary approaches for social-scientific childhood studies, including the integration of nanoscience and social media analyses. Thus it will discuss how we might develop a more multi-faceted view of how plastics (literally) enter and leave children's lives, their bodies, and their environments, across scales ranging from the very tiny (the nano) to the global. It will also use preliminary analyses from the project to reflect on what could be called our contemporary 'plastic moment'.
Prof. Peter Kraftl video recording: