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Children of a New World

Society, Culture, and Globalization

Paula Fass

Paula S. Fass, a pathbreaker in children’s history and the history of education, turns her attention in Children of a New World to the impact of globalization on children’s lives, both in the United States and on the world stage. Globalization, privatization, the rise of the “work-centered” family, and the triumph of the unregulated marketplace, she argues, are revolutionizing the lives of children today.

Fass begins by considering the role of the school as a fundamental component of social formation, particularly in a nation of immigrants like the United States. She goes on to examine children as both creators of culture and objects of cultural concern in America, evident in the strange contemporary fear of and fascination with child abduction, child murder, and parental kidnapping. Finally, Fass moves beyond the limits of American society and brings historical issues into the present and toward the future, exploring how American historical experience can serve as a guide to contemporary globalization as well as how globalization is altering the experience of American children and redefining childhood.

Clear and scholarly, serious but witty, Children of a New World provides a foundation for future historical investigations while adding to our current understanding of the nature of modern childhood, the role of education for national identity, the crisis of family life, and the influence of American concepts of childhood on the world’s definitions of children's rights. As a new generation comes of age in a global world, it is a vital contribution to the study of childhood and globalization.

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Children Of Africa Confront AIDS

From Vulnerability To Possibility

Arvind Singhal

 AIDS is now the leading cause of death in Africa, where twenty-eight million people are HIV-positive, and where some twelve million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In Zimbabwe, 45 percent of children under the age of five are HIV-positive, and the epidemic has shortened life expectancy by twenty-two years. A fifteen-year-old in Botswana or South Africa has a one-in-two chance of dying of AIDS. AIDS deaths are so widespread in sub-Saharan Africa that small children now play a new game called “Funerals.”

The Children of Africa Confront AIDS depicts the reality of how African children deal with the AIDS epidemic, and how the discourse of their vulnerability affects acts of coping and courage. A project of the Institute for the African Child at Ohio University, The Children of Africa Confront AIDS cuts across disciplines and issues to focus on the world's most marginalized population group, the children of Africa.

Editors Arvind Singhal and Stephen Howard join conversations between humanitarian and political activists and academics, asking, “What shall we do?” Such discourse occurs in African contexts ranging from a social science classroom in Botswana to youth groups in Kenya and Ghana. The authors describe HIV/AIDS in its macro contexts of vulnerable children and the continent's democratization movements and also in its national contexts of civil conflict, rural poverty, youth organizations, and agencies working on the ground.

Singhal, Howard, and other contributors draw on compelling personal experience in descriptions of HIV/AIDS interventions for children in difficult circumstances and present thoughtful insights into data gathered from surveys and observations concerning this terrible epidemic.

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The Children of Chinatown

Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920

Wendy Rouse Jorae

Wendy Jorae challenges long-held notions of early Chinatown as a bachelor community by showing that families--and particularly children--played important roles in its daily life. She explores the wide-ranging images of Chinatown's youth created by competing interests with their own agendas--from anti-immigrant depictions of Chinese children as filthy and culturally inferior to exotic and Orientalized images that catered to the tourist's ideal of Chinatown. All of these representations, Jorae notes, tended to further isolate Chinatown at a time when American-born Chinese children were attempting to define themselves as Chinese American. Facing barriers of immigration exclusion, cultural dislocation, child labor, segregated schooling, crime, and violence, Chinese American children attempted to build a world for themselves on the margins of two cultures. Their story is part of the larger American story of the struggle to overcome racism and realize the ideal of equality.

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Children of Reunion

Vietnamese Adoptions and the Politics of Family Migrations

Allison Varzally

In 1961, the U.S. government established the first formalized provisions for intercountry adoption just as it was expanding America's involvement with Vietnam. Adoption became an increasingly important portal of entry into American society for Vietnamese and Amerasian children, raising questions about the United States' obligations to refugees and the nature of the family during an era of heightened anxiety about U.S. global interventions. Whether adopting or favoring the migration of multiracial individuals, Americans believed their norms and material comforts would salve the wounds of a divisive war. However, Vietnamese migrants challenged these efforts of reconciliation.

As Allison Varzally details in this book, a desire to redeem defeat in Vietnam, faith in the nuclear family, and commitment to capitalism guided American efforts on behalf of Vietnamese youths. By tracing the stories of Vietnamese migrants, however, Varzally reveals that while many had accepted separations as a painful strategy for survival in the midst of war, most sought, and some eventually found, reunion with their kin. This book makes clear the role of adult adoptees in Vietnamese and American debates about the forms, privileges, and duties of families, and places Vietnamese children at the center of American and Vietnamese efforts to assign responsibility and find peace in the aftermath of conflict.

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Children’s Special Places

Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood

David Sobel

From the ages of five to twelve, the middle years of childhood, young people explore their surroundings and find or construct private spaces. In these secret places, children develop and control environments of their own and enjoy freedom from the rules of the adult world. Children's Special Places enters these hidden worlds, reveals their importance to children's development and emotional health, and shows educators, parents, and other adults how they can foster a bond between young people and nature that is important to maturation.

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The Children's Table

Childhood Studies and the Humanities

Anna Mae Duane

Like the occupants of the children's table at a family dinner, scholars working in childhood studies can seem sidelined from the "adult" labor of humanities scholarship. The Children's Table brings together scholars from architecture, philosophy, law, and literary and cultural criticism to provide an overview of the innovative work being done in childhood studies—a transcript of what is being said at the children's table. Together, these scholars argue for rethinking the academic seating arrangement in a way that acknowledges the centrality of childhood to the work of the humanities.

The figure we now recognize as a child was created in tandem with forms of modernity that the Enlightenment generated and that the humanities are now working to rethink. Thus the growth of childhood studies allows for new approaches to some of the most important and provocative issues in humanities scholarship: the viability of the social contract, the definition of agency, the performance of identity, and the construction of gender, sexuality, and race. Because defining childhood is a means of defining and distributing power and obligation, studying childhood requires a radically altered approach to what constitutes knowledge about the human subject.

The diverse essays in The Children's Table share a unifying premise: to include the child in any field of study realigns the shape of that field, changing the terms of inquiry and forcing a different set of questions. Taken as a whole, the essays argue that, at this key moment in the state of the humanities, rethinking the child is both necessary and revolutionary.

Contributors: Annette Ruth Appell, Sophie Bell, Robin Bernstein, Sarah Chinn, Lesley Ginsberg, Lucia Hodgson, Susan Honeyman, Roy Kozlovsky, James Marten, Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Carol Singley, Lynne Vallone, John Wall.

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Children's Literature

Vol. 1 (1972) through current issue

Encouraging serious scholarship and research, Children's Literature publishes theoretically-based articles that address key issues in the field. Each volume includes articles, essays, and abstracts of dissertations of note. Children's Literature is the annual publication of the Modern Language Association Division on Children's Literature and the Children's Literature Association (ChLA).

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Children's Literature Association Quarterly

Vol. 1 (1976) through current issue

Children's Literature Association Quarterly publishes first-rate scholarship in children's literature studies. Each issue features an editorial introduction, juried articles about research and scholarship in children's literature, and book reviews. The Quarterly is available to members of the Children's Literature Association (ChLA) as a benefit of membership.

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Compassionate Confinement

A Year in the Life of Unit C

Laura S. Abrams and Ben Anderson-Nathe

To date, knowledge of the everyday world of the juvenile correction institution has been extremely sparse. Compassionate Confinement brings to light the challenges and complexities inherent in the U.S. system of juvenile corrections. Building on over a year of field work at a boys’ residential facility, Laura S. Abrams and Ben Anderson-Nathe provide a context for contemporary institutions and highlight some of the system’s most troubling tensions.

            This ethnographic text utilizes narratives, observations, and case examples to illustrate the strain between treatment and correctional paradigms and the mixed messages regarding gender identity and masculinity that the youths are expected to navigate. Within this context, the authors use the boys’ stories to show various and unexpected pathways toward behavior change. While some residents clearly seized opportunities for self-transformation, others manipulated their way toward release, and faced substantial challenges when they returned home.

            Compassionate Confinement concludes with recommendations for rehabilitating this notoriously troubled system in light of the experiences of its most vulnerable stakeholders.

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Comprehending Columbine

Ralph W. Larkin

The definitive book on the school massacre that shocked a nation

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