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.
Preface Judith Ennew; 1. Nobody's children? A reconsideration of child abandonment Catherine Panter-Brick; 2. Circulation of children in eighteenth-century Portugal Isabel dos Guimaraes Sa; 3. The lives of foundlings in nineteenth-century Italy David I. Kertzer; 4. Modelling the economic and human costs of foundling care in the Azores Malcolm T. Smith; 5. Five centuries of foundling history in Florence: changing patterns of abandonment, care, and mortality Pier Paulo Viazzo, Maria Bortolotto and Andre Zanotto; 6. Child indoctrination in the Greek civil war and child welfare policy Eftihia Voutira and Aigli Bourskou; 7. Children separated from their families in the Mozambique war Helen Charnley; 8. A psychological perspective of 'abandoned' and 'abandoning' street children Angela Veale, Max Taylor and Carol Linehan; 9. In search of Brazil's street children Tobias Hecht; 10. A comparative perspective on abandonment in Nepal Rachel Baker and Catherine Panter-Brick; 11. Abandonment and child prostitution in a Thai slum community Heather Montgomery; 12. Seen but not heard: refugee children and models of intervention Rachel Hinton; 13. Children of protracted exile: where do we belong? Mia Flores-Borquez.