CFP: ‘Different Adulthoods’, special issue of Feminism and Psychology

‘Different Adulthoods: Normative Development and Transgressive Trajectories’, special issue of Feminism and Psychology

‘Development’ as a unitary, universal and consistent process has been subject to significant critique by critical developmental psychologists such as Erica Burman. The contribution of Burman’s work to interrogating ‘development’ in childhood has been acknowledged recently in the special issue of Feminism & Psychology focusing on the impact of her work. The aim of this special edition is to extend the debate to examine adulthood as a developmental period for deconstruction.

The special issue seeks to offer a significant contribution to understandings of the life course, developing new feminist informed theory around continuities and discontinuities in developmental trajectories. The special issue will address these through three linked, and inter-related, themes drawn from conceptual tools within Burman’s book,Deconstructing Developmental Psychology: deconstructing developmental ‘tasks’; locating development; and the limits of adulthood. These themes enable the following questions:

  • Deconstructing developmental ‘tasks’: How is normative adulthood assumed and naturalized? What are the ‘tasks’ of adulthood (such as becoming a parent or managing an ageing body)? How can these be opened up to critical scrutiny?
  • Locating development: How is adulthood configured within particular geopolitical spaces? How is normative adulthood located within intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, geopolitical location?
  • The limits of adulthood: How do taken for granted assumptions about adulthood position some as unable to claim adult status? Who are seen to be ‘adult’ and what about ‘others’ who transgress normative adulthood?

We welcome papers that address one or more of these questions drawing on empirical work, a review of literature or theoretical arguments. Contributions may be in the form of original articles (up to 8000 words), observations and commentaries (500 to 2000 words), and brief reports (up to 3000 words).  For further details, consult the manuscript submission guidelines at Submissions will be subject to the usual review process. Queries may be sent to the guest editors listed below.

Editors: Lindsay O’Dell, The Open University, UK (; Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, Umea University Sweden (; Charlotte Brownlow, University of Southern Queensland (, Australia and Jan du Preez, University of Southern Queensland, Australia (

Deadline for submission of papers is 31st May 2016.

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