Providing a wide spectrum of views, the authors explore the fine line between normalized physical punishment and illegal or unacceptable physical and emotional abuse of children. It builds on the emerging field of research that provides opportunities for children to speak for themselves about their views and experiences.* Provides observations from children, professionals and several generations from within individual families* Discusses the power of language used by parents, professionals and the media to describe physical punishment* Reflects upon the status of children in societies that sanction their physical punishment, motivations and justifications for its use, perceptions of its effectiveness, and its impact* Presents a combination of personal, social, legal, and language factors which provide significant new insights and suggest ways to move forward
Dr Bernadette Saunders is a Senior Research Fellow at Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Monash University where she teaches Law and Social Justice. She received an Australian Postgraduate Award, and the support of the Australian Childhood Foundation, to pursue her doctoral research on physical punishment. Professor Chris Goddard is Director of Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, Monash University. His previous book Human Rights Overboard: Seeking Asylum in Australia (with Linda Briskman and Susie Latham, 2008) won the Australian Human Rights Literature Non-Fiction Award.
Acknowledgements. 1 Introduction. 2 Childhood and physical punishment in historical perspective. 3 Legal responses to physical punishment. 4 Conducting sensitive and ethical research with children and adults. 5 Experiences of physical punishment at home, at school and in public places. 6 Public and professional perceptions of the effectiveness of physical punishment. 7 The subjugation of children through language and physical punishment. 8 The effects of physical punishment. 9 The persistence of physical punishment. 10 The morality of physical punishment. 11 An ideal childhood. References. Index.