Earliest political memories

We continue to collect earliest political memories for research purposes but we are no longer posting these online. Watch out for another experimental online public engagement activity in the summer of 2017. 

The Connectors Study aims to re-animate the idea of children’s participation through research that takes national-cultural contexts and historical and biographical time into consideration, and which is located in everyday life and engages with children’s and their families experiences of their relationships of concern.

But what does political activism, politics, and ‘the political’ look like in childhood?

We’ve written about this epistemological challenge here and the story of how this question came about can be found here.

As well as the usual social science methods and our own fieldwork in Athens, Hyderabad and London, one approach we’ve been using to help us think creatively about the ways in which we can re-animate the relationship between childhood and public life, is to ask people about their earliest political memories. Call it food for thought, call it anecdotal theory, call it what you will, our experience is that the question is captivating and generative. Until now we’ve asked the question either informally in our everyday encounters and interactions (indeed, it is often the case that when we describe the research to people we meet such memories are volunteered to us without prompting), or in the context of parental interviews with the participant families. We are now broadening this process through the blog.

Below is a form for you to write to us with your earliest political memory. We don’t define political. It is whatever ‘politics’, ‘political’, ‘activism’ or any other relevant synonym means to you. The stories and anecdotes we have already heard are incredibly broadranging.

We will use these stories to continue to think about the relationship between childhood and public life. This means that we may end up writing about the memories we collect.

All memories are anonymous and it’s up to you if you want to leave any further demographic information. The demographic information is used to further contextualise the story (who (anonymous), when, where). You can still submit a memory without providing demographic information and without consent to have it appear online. You can submit a memory in any language you prefer.

 

You can read all earliest political memories that we have published so far here.