Introduction: Critical theory is social
theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole,
in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding
or explaining it (citation).
Critical theory explores the anthropology, linguistics, sociology,
and philosophy of young people. Emphasis is given to
communication, education, literacy, and conflict through the
lenses of culture, socio-economic status, feminism, gender, sexual
orientation, and income, as well as other identities.
The question of young people and
critical theory is posed in two senses: first, what are critical
responses to the situation/position/role/ability of young people
in general, and second; what is the relationship of young people
to critical theory, either as practitioners or recipients. The
following publications consider different variations of those two
Toward liberatory early childhood theory, research and praxis:
Decolonizing a field.
Diaz Soto, L. & Swadener, B. (2002).
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 3:1.
Declaration of Accountability on the Ethical Engagement of Young
People and Adults in Canadian
First Nations Child and
Family Caring Society of Canada.
This document shares a wide-ranging perspective of youth
involvement, calling for organizations and communities to see
beyond past activities and to identify and practice powerful
ethical approaches to engaging youth. Despite the reference to
Canadian organizations, this
document is useful communities around the world.