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Abandoned Children

Abandoned Children

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Edited by Catherine Panter-Brick, Malcolm T. Smith
Cambridge University Press, 03/08/2000
EAN 9780521772761, ISBN10: 0521772761

Hardcover, 248 pages, 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.1 cm

The situation of children abandoned by adults, in foundling homes, sleeping rough in the streets, in refugee camps, and in other circumstances, attracts much political and journalistic attention, but surprisingly little from social scientists. As the editors of this volume point out, there is therefore not enough said about the varieties of experiences summarised as ‘abandonment’. Nor has enough effort been put into studying the perspectives of children themselves on their situation. Situating the discourse on child abandonment in the more general field of debate on children, both historical and ethnographic, this book attempts to show that the presentations of ‘abandoned’ children tend to take for granted ethnocentric ideas about what children can and should do, and about what their relationship should be with adults. The range of historical and ethnographic case studies, over a variety of situations, illustrate the need to contextualise their position in particular cultural situations.

‘I recommend a full and careful reading of this volume to all those interested in research and intervention with children in difficult circumstances.’ Jill E. Korbin, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

‘A fine piece of scholarship that should be read by those wishing to improve children’s lives.’ David Barrett, Children and Society

‘I recommend a full and careful reading of this volume to all those interested in research and intervention with children in difficult circumstances.’ The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

‘All make for fascinating reading and provide important insights into how children adapt and cope with extremely difficult and often tragic situations.’ Social Development Issues

‘All in all though, a fine piece of scholarship that should be read by those wishing to improve children’s lives.’ Children & Society

‘… a fascinating glimpse into a vast subject area.’ The Economic History Review

‘In calling for more critical and issue-driven anthropological research on the condition of children growing up under challenging social and material conditions, this edited volume joins the ranks of Schepher-Hughes and Sargent’s field-defining Small Wars: The Cultural Politics of Childhood (California), James, Jenks and Prout’s Theorizing Childhood (Oxford) and Panther-Brick’s excellent Biosocial Perspectives on Children (Cambridge). All of the contributions extend our understanding of the lives of children living outside of the idealized or typical framework of the Western family in several key ways. … Any social scientists interested in the problem of defining child well-being will find something of interest here.’ D. W. Sellen, Department of Anthropology and International Health, Emory University, Atlanta

' … makes important contributions to the current re-emergence, reorientation, and intensification of anthropological interest in children and childhood(s) … I recommend a full and careful reading of this volume to all those interested in research and intervention with children in difficult circumstances.' Jill E. Korbin, Case Western Reserve University