An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children's Lives

An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children's Lives

By: Heather Montgomery (author)Paperback

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In An Introduction to Childhood, Heather Montgomery examines the role children have played within anthropology, how they have been studied by anthropologists and how they have been portrayed and analyzed in ethnographic monographs over the last one hundred and fifty years. Offers a comprehensive overview of childhood from an anthropological perspective Draws upon a wide range of examples and evidence from different geographical areas and belief systems Synthesizes existing literature on the anthropology of childhood, while providing a fresh perspective Engages students with illustrative ethnographies to illuminate key topics and themes

About Author

Heather Montgomery is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at The Open University. She has written on children and sexuality, tourism, children's rights and on the role of children in anthropology. Her publications include Modern Babylon? Prostituting Children in Thailand (2001), Understanding Childhood: An Interdisciplinary Approach (2003, with Martin Woodhead), and Changing Childhoods: Global and Local (2003, with Martin Woodhead and Rachel Burr).


Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1 1 Childhood within Anthropology 17 Introduction 17 Children: The First Primitives 18 Culture and Personality 22 Cross-Cultural Studies of Child-Rearing 26 Children in British Anthropology 34 The Gendered Child 38 Child-Centered Anthropology 43 Conclusion 49 2 What is a Child? 50 Introduction 50 Childhood as a Modern Idea: The Influence of Philippe Aries 51 Conceptualizations of Childhood 53 Children as Incompetent or Subordinate 56 Children as Equals 61 Children as a Means of Forming Families and Giving Status 63 Children as an Economic Investment 67 Unwanted and Nonhuman Children 70 Conclusion 77 3 The Beginning of Childhood 79 Introduction 79 Fetuses 80 Spirit Children 87 Reincarnation 95 Anomalies 98 Conclusion 103 4 Family, Friends, and Peers 104 Introduction 104 The Role of Parents 105 Adoption and Fosterage 107 Children outside the Family 118 Siblings 121 Friends and Peer Groups 126 Conclusion 132 5 Talking, Playing, and Working 134 Introduction 134 Learning Language 135 Children and Play 141 Work or Play? 149 Conclusion 155 6 Discipline, Punishment, and Abuse 156 Introduction 156 Discipline and Punishment in the Western Tradition 157 Physical Punishment 159 Alternatives to Physical Punishment 166 Who Can Punish Children? 170 Child Abuse 172 Conclusion 179 7 Children and Sexuality 181 Introduction 181 Anthropology, Sexuality, and Childhood 182 Children and Sex: The Influence of Freud 184 Incest and Abuse 187 Ethnographies of Children and Sexuality 190 Child Prostitution 196 Conclusion 200 8 Adolescence and Initiation 201 Introduction 201 What is Adolescence? 202 Adolescence and Globalization 207 Initiation 212 Initiation: A Psychological Approach 215 Initiation and Education 221 Initiation and Gender 224 Initiation: The End of Childhood? 228 Conclusion 231 Conclusion 233 Bibliography 239 Index 270

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781405125901
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 290
  • ID: 9781405125901
  • weight: 424
  • ISBN10: 140512590X

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