Card image cap
Card image cap

The Child as an Individual, A Space of Legal Confrontation and a Stake of Scientific and Political Powers

Gérard Neyrand

Research Framework : The article describes how the child, as an individual, is taken into account in the development of the population management policy in France. This article is based on the author’s research itinerary on this topic for thirty years.

Objectives : The objective of this article is to describe the growing place of the child in the political management, starting from the experience of the author since his first postdoctoral research in 1982 until the contemporary period.

Methodology : The author uses a large part of his research work by contextualizing it with the variation of the problematics presented during the invitations for tenders depending on the periods and governments in place.

Results : This article presents the growing importance of this concern for politics and its growing formalization through the development of research, in parallel with the evolution of knowledge of the political management mainly aroused by research in human and social sciences and the renewal of legal standards.

Conclusions : The author shows the complexity and the evolution of research problematics concerning childhood in the human and social sciences field, at the crossroads of social change and traditions, of the breakdown of political positioning in relation with the changes of government, of the evolution of research problematics related to the epistemological context, of the intellectual trends that come with them and of the control of the social evolution by the renewal of laws.

Contribution : Contribution to Edgar Morin’s analysis called “the complexity”, which has a privileged expression in the domain of childhood policies.