Children, youth and families living in the city

Institute of Australian Geographers Annual Conference, Adelaide

June 29th – July 1st 2016

Call for Papers

Session Sponsors: Cultural Geography Study Group

Session Organisers: Susannah Clement and Kiera Kent, University of Wollongong

What is a child friendly city? How do families create space in the city? How might we include the experiences of young people and families in research?

This IAG session focuses on the everyday experiences of children, youth and families living in urban areas. This session aims to show the diversity of children, youth and family geography research coming from Australian and international contexts.

Where do the children play. Children play at darling Harbour in the spiral fountain. Photo Brendan Esposito smh,news,021207

Where do the children play in the city? Photo: Brendan Esposito

As Cloke and Jones (2005) argue, children are often positioned as problematic in urban (adult) spaces because they challenge the boundaries placed on them and create disorder. Work by Children’s Geographers (e.g. Holloway & Valentine 2000; Matthews & Limb 1999) have engaged with the ‘New Social Studies of Childhood’, which Continue reading

More than drunkenness and disorderly bodies: the gendered pleasures of drinking cultures

Post by Gordon Waitt and Susannah Clement

Australian drinking culture is facing increasing public scrutiny in relation to health, conduct and cultural legitimacy. Australian media is flooded with reports of the crises of alcohol fuelled violence in the night time economy of cities, and statistics that suggest that younger women living in metropolitan centres are drinking as much as their male counterparts.The attention given to young metropolitan people’s binge drinking has reveal one shadier side of Australian cultures of alcohol and the quest for drunkenness and disorderly bodies. But what of rural drinking cultures?

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Postcard from Turkey

On the 2nd September the body of a 3 year old Syrian boy washed up on the beach of Bodrum, Turkey. He, along with his brother and mother were 3 of 12 people to drown as their boats capsized trying to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos. I’m not going to post the picture here, it’s fairly distressing and to be honest you’ve probably already seen it splashed across newspapers and webpages. It’s the image that brought the plight of Syrian refugees into the immediate consciousness of the rest of the world.

This unfolded whilst I was attending the RGS/IBG Annual Conference at the University of Exeter, a week before my trip to Turkey. Relatives and friends asked, ‘You’re not going to Bodrum are you?’ ‘Ummm I don’t think so’, but as I googled my tour destinations I realised that whilst I wasn’t going to Bodrum, I was going very close, touring up the same coastline.

Debates raged in the media and in conversation around ‘the image of the little boy’. Should this be shown? YES, I though, we need to be shocked into action. We need to see this! But do shocking images really make us change? I thought so, but now I doubt myself. Continue reading

Is walking becoming redundant?

According to the most recent census data, the average Australian household owns one or more vehicles with close to 65% of the workforce traveling to work each day by car, compared to less than 4% who walk. Furthermore, according to the 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People only 33% of children and young people walk or cycle to school, with this average dropping when they reach high school. Public health experts are continually urging us stop sitting at our desks and move more through the promotion of ‘walk to school’ days, but many are cynical of the retention and upkeep of these one-off practices. So what does this mean for our health, the sustainability of our transport systems and the relationships we have with our neighbourhoods? What does this mean for walking? Continue reading

UOW researcher to investigate the experiences of parents/care-givers who take their children to Viva La Gong

Held annually each November, Wollongong’s Viva La Gong is promoted as a ‘family-friendly’ cultural festival with children’s entertainment and involvement being a main focus of the event.

In 2014 Viva La Gong will be held on Saturday 8th November at MacCabe Park and PhD Candidate Susannah Clement from the University of Wollongong’s Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research is looking to talk to parents/care-givers who plan to attend with their children. Continue reading