Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children

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9780300192407: Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children

A seminal volume on prejudice against children for parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers, policy-makers—anyone concerned with the crucial subject of child welfare.

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.

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From the Author:

Why are you proposing that we need the word and concept “childism”?
The history of the word “sexism,” coined in 1965, shows how important it was to put under the same conceptual umbrella different acts, attitudes, and institutions that targeted women as a group. If you understand that domestic violence against women and wage discrimination against women are similarly rationalized or legitimated by a prejudice—sexism—you can develop ways to explore the prejudice and resist it. Without a synthesizing concept, you do not see that child poverty and child abuse are both rooted in and rationalized by prejudice against children.

Does prejudice against children—childism—operate like sexism?
All prejudices are rationalizations of actions. Prejudiced people think that their actions against a target group are right, necessary, normal. But not all prejudices are alike, nor are all prejudiced people alike—there is no “prejudiced personality.” In this book I argue that there are three basic forms of prejudices. Basically, people want to get rid of the members of a group; manipulate them into being servants; or erase their identities. The forms are usually to some degree intermixed, but sexism is fundamentally of the third form. Childism, on the other hand, comes in all three forms. This is one reason why it has been so hard to pinpoint.

Childism focuses in many different ways on “child abuse and neglect”—why is that?
First, abused and neglected children come, as children or as adults, into therapy situations where they can feel safe enough to tell their stories and talk about how they understand their abusers. Understanding their abusers’ motivations is crucial to them; they take a listener right to the topic and to how they have internalized the abusers’ motivations. They need to be cured of their internalizations as much as they need to be helped with external conditions that disrupt their growth and development. But—and this is the second reason—the field of Child Abuse and Neglect was, from its inception in the 1960s, set up in such a way, I believe, that it could not hear the experiences of abused and neglected children. It was focused on the types of acts they suffered—physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse—and children were classified by these types of acts. Treatment and prevention strategies are organized around these types of acts to this day. This has been very harmful for children. It matters how you think about children! Just as it matters how you raise them, and sponsor their growth and development—or fail to.

You are Anna Freud’s biographer—is this is an Anna Freudian book?
I use many of Anna Freud’s key insights, particularly those she came to when she directed a children’s residential nursery in London during the Blitz. The children she cared for were traumatized, and they had a good deal to say about what they experienced. The Best Interests of the Child, the book Anna Freud wrote late in her long life, with two colleagues from the Yale Child Study Center, was designed to teach lawyers and judges how to listen to children in the course of trials—custody trials, abuse trials. Clearly, she was writing about childism, how to recognize it and how to prevent it. I take her wisdom as a model. But I am writing for all who are concerned with children’s well-being—in diverse professions, in policy-making positions, but also as parents.

About the Author:

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl (1946-2011) was a psychoanalyst and the award-winning author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, Anna Freud: A Biography, and Why Arendt Matters.

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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A seminal volume on prejudice against children for parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers, policy-makers-anyone concerned with the crucial subject of child welfare. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780300192407

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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A seminal volume on prejudice against children for parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers, policy-makers-anyone concerned with the crucial subject of child welfare. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780300192407

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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A seminal volume on prejudice against children for parents, teachers, psychologists, social workers, policy-makers-anyone concerned with the crucial subject of child welfare. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780300192407

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