The Child in Question (Paperback)
|Author: Diana Gittins|
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From the Publisher:
How innocent are children? How innocent should they be? What rights do adults have over them? Questions such as these fuel frequent heated debates about contemporary society which take place in the media and elsewhere, yet, these pressing questions are seldomly properly examined or addressed. In this timely and eloquent book, Diana Gittins draws on a fascinating range of psychoanalytic, historical, social, literary, artistic and personal sources to unpack our assumptions about "the child" and "childhood" and explore the meanings and values that are commonly attributed to them. She argues that while there continue to exist substantial differences and inequalities that affect real children in material and, often, harmful ways, "the child" acts as an important cultural construct where multiple and diverse notions of what "the child" is results in confusion and contradiction. These notions underlie the moral panics that regularly recur about adults' abuse of children and children's acts of violence.
In this timely and eloquent book, Diana Gittins draws on a fascinating range of sources-psychoanalytic, historical, social, literary, artistic and personal-to unpack our common assumptions about 'the child' and 'childhood' and explore the meanings and values that are commonly attributed to them. She argues that while there continue to exist substantial differences and inequalities that effect real children in material, and often harmful, ways, 'the child' also acts as an important cultural construct at both a symbolic and psychological level. It is in the blurring and overlapping of adults' multiple and diverse notions of what 'the child' is and should be that confusions and contradictions arise. These can be perceived underlying the moral panics that regularly recur about adults' abuse of children and children's acts of violence. Wide-ranging and provocative, this is a book for everyone interested in children and their place in our society. It will appeal to students and professionals alike across a wide range of courses and disciplines, as well as to the general reader.