Criminalizing Children: Welfare and the State in Australia

Criminalizing Children: Welfare and the State in Australia

by David McCallum


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Incarceration of children is rising rapidly throughout of Australia, with indigenous children most at risk of imprisonment. Indigenous and non-indigenous children have been subject to detention in both welfare and justice systems in Australian states and territories since colonization. Countless governments and human rights enquiries have attempted to address the problem of the increasing criminalization of children, with little success. David McCallum traces the history of 'problem children' over several decades, demonstrating that the categories of neglected and offending children are both linked to similar kinds of governing. Institutions and encampments have historically played a significant role in contributing to the social problems of today. This book also takes a theoretical perspective, tracking parallel developments within the human sciences of childhood and theories of race. Applying a social theoretical analysis of these events and the changing rationalities of governing, McCallum challenges our assumptions about how law and governance of children leads to their criminalization and incarceration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845656676
Publisher: Cambridge-Hitachi
Publication date: 12/21/2017
Series: Cambridge Studies in Law and Society
Pages: 316
Product dimensions: 6.18(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

David McCallum is Professor of Sociology, and head of Humanities and Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Education at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. His publications include The Social Production of Merit (1990), Personality and Dangerousness (Cambridge, 2001), and Inside the Child's Head (2009) co-authored with Jennifer Laurence. He is a past convenor of the Crime and Governance Thematic group for The Australian Sociological Association and is currently a member of the International Sociological Association.

Table of Contents

Foreword: criminalizing children. Histories of welfare and the state in Australia; 1. Child welfare and the Australian state: an introduction; 2. Knowing the 'neglected' aboriginal child; 3. Neglected and criminal children; 4. Science, race and separations; 5. Unstable categories: children in welfare and justice in the early twentieth century; 6. The mission station as a correctional institution; 7. From mental defectives to the psychology of the family; 8. The discovery of the Aboriginal child; 9. Government and family.

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