Intra-generational encounters with balloons and bread rolls: exploring reciprocity in post/age pedagogic spaces
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This writing originates from unease with assumptions that often shape intergenerational practices and everyday encounters in the UK, for instance, assumptions about generational ‘gaps’ or ‘roles’ and the pedagogy of ‘interventions’ to promote meetings ‘between’ ages. Such interventions are usually predicated on chrono-logical notions of infant, child, youth, old age, and life stages. Haynes and Murris suggest dis-continuing age/stage-related categorisation by imagining post-age spaces and pedagogies and proposing intra-generational practice. Quinn and Blandon bring ageist ideas of the ‘human’ into question through their posthuman research on dementia and life-long learning. Thinking with such provocations, we re-visited accounts of our own intergenerational experiences, and inspired by Barad, diffractively re-turned them through a selection of readings. Responding to Mannion and Haynes and Murris we work with the concept of reciprocity understood as flowing through adult/child and human/more-than-human bodies. This shifted attention onto the intra-active happenings and ‘at-onceness’ of generational or multi-age in/en-counters. We troubled ageist discourses of deficit implicit in the notion of ‘gap-bridging’ and generated the concepts of ‘shouldness’, describing the kind of ‘forced play’ of such bridging interventions; and ‘nowing’ defying the chronos of age-based categorisation, to (re)imagine qualities of intra-generational encounters.
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