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Failed Century of the Child : Governing America's Young in the Twentieth Century

Failed Century of the Child : Governing America's Young in the Twentieth Century - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521535687

Cover of Failed Century of the Child : Governing America
ISBN13: 978-0521535687
ISBN10: 0521535689
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 03
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 2003
International: No

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Failed Century of the Child : Governing America's Young in the Twentieth Century - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521535687

Judith Sealander

ISBN13: 978-0521535687
ISBN10: 0521535689
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 03
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Published: 2003
International: No
Summary

Between 1900 and 2000 an unprecedented American effort to use state regulation to guarantee health, opportunity, and security to the country's children failed to reach its goals. The achievements envisioned were enormously ambitious and reflected entrenched but self-contradictory values and Americans' inconsistent expectations of government. As such, a 'failed' century deserves a mixture of rebuke and cautious admiration. Starting with the young, American public policy transformed individuals into strings of measurable characteristics. People became statistics, and if society could just get the measurements right, social policy said, progress would be possible. But children proved hard to quantify. Policies based on optimistic faith in the powers of applied scientific truth revealed perils implicit in acceptance of poorly understood social science paradigms. Definitions changed, as psychology or sociological or statistical theory changed, and good intentions foundered, as experts fiercely challenged each other's conclusions and public policies sought to respond.

  • A broad overview of an important topic that covers the twentieth century
  • Written in jargon-free, witty prose
  • Based on prodigious research

Table of Contents

Part I. Children's Welfare:

1. Juvenile justice: from 'child saving' to 'public accountability'
2. 'The Pontius Pilate' routine: government responses to child abuse
3. 'Illusory promises': state aid to poor children

Part II. Children's Work:

4. 'Inducting into adulthood': state reactions to the labor of children and adolescents

Part III. Children's Education:

5. 'Laying down principles in the dark': the consequences of compulsory secondary education
6. The return of the infant school: twentieth century preschool education
7. Public education of disabled children: 'rewriting one of the saddest chapters'

Part IV. Children's Health:

8. 'Shaped up' by the state: government attempts to improve children's diets, exercise regimes, and physical fitness
9. Mandatory medicine: twentieth century childhood immunization.

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