Børns koloniserede arbejde


  • Jens Qvortrup




Jens Qvortrup: The colonization of children’s work This article develops both historical and theoretical arguments against the flawed logic of a conventional wisdom. This conventional wisdom is the notion that while children in pre-industrial society were actively taking part in work, the scholarised children in modern society are merely preparing themselves to become contributors to the social fabric. Combined with family ideology, this view has implications for low fertility rates and greater risk of poverty for children and their families. The modern schooling marathon should be understood as a continuation of children’s organic participation in activities deemed necessary by the mode of production, reflecting an historical shift from manual to mental child work. This understanding of children’s schoolwork logically implies that children are part of a societal division of labour, and therefore have legitimate claims to societal resources and public economic responsibility. Putting these insights into public practice would, on the one hand, alleviate the economic burdens of parents and the risk of child poverty, and, on the other, create incentives for increased fertility. In the long run this would contribute to the solution of the impending pension crisis. And too, it would help reestablish the intergenerational balance.