Childism: Confronting Prejudice against Children

Childism: Confronting Prejudice against Children

by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Pub. Date:
Yale University Press
Select a Purchase Option (New Edition)
  • purchase options
    $35.95 $40.00 Save 10% Current price is $35.95, Original price is $40. You Save 10%.
  • purchase options


Childism: Confronting Prejudice against Children

In this groundbreaking volume on the human rights of children, acclaimed analyst, political theorist, and biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl argues that prejudice exists against children as a group and that it is comparable to racism, sexism, and homophobia. This prejudice—“childism”—legitimates and rationalizes a broad continuum of acts that are not “in the best interests of children,” including the often violent extreme of child abuse and neglect. According to Young-Bruehl, reform is possible only if we acknowledge this prejudice in its basic forms and address the motives and cultural forces that drive it, rather than dwell on the various categories of abuse and punishment.

“There will always be individuals and societies that turn on their children," writes Young-Bruehl, “breaking the natural order Aristotle described two and a half millennia ago in his Nichomachean Ethics." In Childism, Young-Bruehl focuses especially on the ways in which Americans have departed from the child-supportive trends of the Great Society and of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Many years in the making, Childism draws upon a wide range of sources, from the literary and philosophical to the legal and psychoanalytic. Woven into this extraordinary volume are case studies that illuminate the profound importance of listening to the victims who have so much to tell us about the visible and invisible ways in which childism is expressed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300173116
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: What's in a Word? 1

Chapter 1 Anatomy of a Prejudice 18

Chapter 2 Three Forms of Childism: Anna's Story 59

Chapter 3 Child Abuse and Neglect: A Study in Confusion 98

Chapter 4 The Politicization of Child Abuse 140

Chapter 5 Mass Hysteria and Child Sexual Abuse 195

Chapter 6 Forms of Childism in Families 229

Chapter 7 Education and the End of Childism 266

Bibliographic Essay 299

Index 337

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews