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- "Childhood, Religion and School Injustice adopts an original approach to exploring the expression of children's and adults' worldviews through schooling. The book is situated in a western 'post-austerity' climate, where the re-entrenchment of neoliberal policies has created and exacerbated various social divisions and injustices. Kitching outlines a number of related child and family-related injustices and ghosts that haunt the majority Catholic primary school sector in Ireland. He argues that the education policy focus on parent choice of school exploits religious, spiritual and non-religious worldviews for the purposes of privatising and marketising school systems. Kitching argues that education policy favours variously white, middle class, Catholic families, and maintains the private patronage model of schooling inherited from the colonial era. Second, he argues that there is a clear need to publicly engage majority collective memories of childhood, religion and schooling. A public reckoning with injustice, pain and joy in childhoods past and present in Ireland is necessary to challenge the self-interested, unjust nature of contemporary education policies, and to imagine and create an affirmative public school landscape that deeply engages with a plurality of worldviews.Exploring in-depth research with over one hundred children, the book goes on to demonstrate the multiple ways children encounter religiosity, spirituality, belief, and consumption in their everyday lives. This research highlights how children negotiate the paradoxes and injustices of schooling, including first communion sacramental preparation in a Catholic-dominated school system. The book shows how children's encounters with people, religious artefacts and consumer products complicate neat categories of religious, spiritual and non-religious child experience. Kitching argues that children merge myth, heritage and consumer culture in forming their own worldviews. He also contends that how children's encounters with the world raise multiple ethical questions about our accountability and obligations to one another. Kitching frames this research in an innovative, critical postsecular perspective. This perspective explores what can emerge from the failure of individualist concepts of reason, religion, science and rights to offer neutral common ground for education. Drawing particularly on the work of Rosi Braidotti, he argues that meaningful freedom, and deep engagement with plurality in education can only be achieved by acknowledging the unchosen nature of our obligations to one another. He supports the 'becoming public' of schools and schooling, which challenges the colonial and neoliberal encouragement of parents to actively choose a secular or religious school. Kitching also calls for greater public engagement with the plurality of each child. This call engages the commitments that various children and families have towards particular worldviews, while arguing that public education must focus on imaginative, ethical childhood encounters that move past static, self-interested notions of identity and secular-market freedoms.Childhood, Religion and School Injustice will be of interest to postgraduate students, academics and researchers in the fields of Sociology, Childhood Studies, Education Studies, the Study of Religions, Government and Politics, and Postcolonial Studies"--
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