Kerbs and curbs, desire and damage: an affirmative account of children's play and being well during the COVID-19 pandemic

Russell, Wendy K ORCID: 0000-0002-5028-6428 and Stenning, Alison ORCID: 0000-0003-4110-874X (2023) Kerbs and curbs, desire and damage: an affirmative account of children's play and being well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and Cultural Geography, 24 (3-4). pp. 680-698. doi:10.1080/14649365.2022.2134582

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11821 Russell, W. and Stenning, A. (2022) Kerbs_and_curbs_desire_and_damage_an_affirmative_account_of_children's_play_and_being_well_during_the_COVID_19_pandemic.pdf - Published Version
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A dominant narrative around the impact of COVID-19 on children focuses on the risk of children being the pandemic's biggest victims. Without denying the severity of such damage, this article explores two examples of playing during the pandemic, alongside more affirmative Deleuzian accounts of desire, which can contribute to mitigating both the damage itself and what damage narratives perform. Using two fragments of data from research into children's play during the first COVID-19 UK lockdown, we show how, despite the tightest of restrictions, moments of playfulness emerged from encounters between children, other bodies and the materiality and affective atmospheres of the street to produce moments of being well. In both fragments children play with the kerbs on the street, deterritorialising the curbs of both striated street spaces and lockdown in ways that temporarily enact a playful politics of space and produce moments of being well. We read these fragments through contemporary Deleuzian accounts of desire as a productive force. In so doing, we contribute to debates in relational ontologies of children's geographies that address the micropolitics of children's spatial practices.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children's Play; Streets; Kerbs; Lockdown; Desire; Materiality; Micropolitics
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ125 Physiology of children and adolescents > RJ131 Children Growth. Child development
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Kate Greenaway
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 14:40
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 04:15

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