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Free Content The state-as-parent: reframing parent‐child relations in Rwanda

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This article attempts to think across and beyond the fields of childhood studies and parenting culture studies by employing postcolonial, relational and temporal lenses to explore child‐parent‐state relations and how these relations have been constructed, represented and enacted over time. Using the case study of Rwanda, we suggest that the phenomenon of state-as-parent functions symbolically and instrumentally to establish state legitimacy and national unity in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, informed by both the specificities of the Rwandan historical and current contexts, as well as transnational discourses on childhood and parenting. Furthermore, we argue that plural, coexisting and conflicting temporalities are at play in the reframing and reworking of state‐parent‐child relations, which are also a site for the generation of subaltern forms of temporality to contest the overarching narrative of state-as-parent.
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Keywords: Rwanda; parenting culture studies; parent‐child relations; postcolonial childhoods; temporality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Luther King House Educational Trust, UK 2: UCL Institute of Education, UK

Publication date: March 2020

This article was made available online on December 19, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "The state-as-parent: reframing parent–child relations in Rwanda".

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