Contesting Childhood

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Traditional models of childhood need reconstructing, especially as children become more active in negotiating the boundaries between themselves and adults. Wyness argues for new, more effective conceptions of childhood, derived from analysis of recent social policy. He interprets legislation and reveals that recent children acts and educational reform exhibit a strengthening of the socializing power of adults over children. Most importantly, this book challenges a prevalent underlying conception of children as 'lesser' or 'inferior' versions of adults, a flawed understanding that sill influences policy.

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Editorial Reviews

Wyness (sociology, University College Northampton) draws on work in the developing field of childhood studies to examine theoretical and policy-driven understandings of the current position of children in society. Through an analysis of policy reforms and professional initiatives with educational child care and legal contexts, he examines different, potentially competing viewpoints of children's social position. Topics include child policy and moral ambiguity, the limits to child protection, the individualization of schooling, and childhood and citizenship. Distributed by Taylor & Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750708241
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/1/1999
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
A Note on Rights 5
1 Childhood in Crisis: Decline or Reconstruction? 7
2 Social Policy and Moral Ambiguity 30
3 Child Sexual Abuse: Protection, Prevention and Identification 54
4 Childhood, Agency and Educational Reform 87
5 Childhood and Citizenship 105
Conclusion 130
Appendix: A Comment on the Data 137
Notes 138
References 142
Index 153
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