Research group for rhetoric, democracy and public culture

Children's speeches

Member of the Research Group Ida Andersen takes a closer look at the Children's New Year's speech from 2022 and discusses how children's speeches can and should be evaluated.

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Photo: Taylor Flowe via Unsplash

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In our time there is a tendency for children to be given more space as speakers. But should children's speeches be assessed? Group member Ida Andersen argues they should in her article Barnet som taler.

As a starting point, Andersen looks at the Children's New Year's speech from 2022. The Children's New Year's speech is part of a societal tendency where children are increasingly given a public speaking position - often as a result of ambitions to strengthen children's abilities and opportunities to exercise so-called rhetorical citizenship. In this term, there are normative expectations that citizens should have the opportunity to express themselves and make their voices heard in democracy. But when children increasingly act as rhetors in public debate, questions about how we, as rhetoricians, should relate to their rhetoric are brought up to date: How should we assess their utterances? What quality criteria should we use as a basis? Is it even legitimate to criticize children's expressions?

Read Andersen's thoughts on these questions by clicking here.