Concepts, trajectories, and approaches to “agitation” and “non-conforming children”: social and cultural experiences in Brazil, Chile and France – Saúde e Sociedade journal

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The Brazilian journal Saúde e Sociedade devotes its issue (1/2019) to the question of “agitation” and “non-conforming” childhood. Works presented in this dossier are the result of exchanges and debates within the Non-Conforming network, made up of social science researchers (anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists), based on research conducted in Brazil at LICHSS (Sao Paulo Federal University), Chile at LaPSoS (Chile University) and France at CERMES3 (Paris Descartes University) and CeRIES (Lille 3 University ).

Situations where children and/or their behaviour are identified as problematic or disturbing question and reveal the norms of our societies, from which these children are considered as non-conforming: norms of attention, autonomy or self-control, importance given to performance and school context… It’s often difficult to describe and think about these disturbing behaviours because they combine medical problems, psychological problems, school problems and social problems. They reveal the way in which each society qualifies problems, thinks appropriate social responses, organizes separations and articulations between social problems and medical problems.

The texts in this dossier are part of a reflection on concepts and theoretical approaches whereby social sciences help us to think about these situations and qualifications. They shed light on different aspects, both in terms of care centre professionals practices and conceptions and of people experience living with a ADHD or ASD diagnosis.