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Economics of Child Care

"David Blau has chosen seven economists to write chapters that review the emerging economic literature on the supply of child care, parental demand for care, child care cost and quality, and to discuss the implications of these analyses for public policy. The book succeeds in presenting that research in understandable terms to policy makers and serves economists as a useful review of the child care literature....provides an excellent case study of the value of economic analysis of public policy issues." —Arleen Leibowitz, Journal of Economic Literature
 
"There is no doubt this is a timely book....The authors of this volume have succeeded in presenting the economic material in a nontechnical manner that makes this book an excellent introduction to the role of economics in public policy analysis, and specifically child care policy....the most comprehensive introduction currently available." —Cori Rattelman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

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Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna

A Children's Classic at 100

edited by Roxanne Harde and Lydia Kokkola

Appearing first as a weekly serial in The Christian Herald, Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna was first published in book form in 1913. This popular story of an impoverished orphan girl who travels from America’s western frontier to live with her wealthy maternal Aunt Polly in the fictional east coast town of Beldingsville went through forty-seven printings in seven years and remains in print today in its original version, as well as in various translations and adaptations. The story’s enduring appeal lies in Pollyanna’s sunny personality and in her glad game, her playful attempt to accentuate the positive in every situation. In celebration of its centenary, this collection of thirteen original essays examines a wide variety of the novel’s themes and concerns, as well as adaptations in film, manga, and translation.

In this edited collection on Pollyanna, internationally respected and emerging scholars of children’s literature consider Porter’s work from modern critical perspectives. Contributors focus primarily on the novel itself but also examine Porter’s sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up, and the various film versions and translations of the novel. With backgrounds in children’s literature, cultural and film studies, philosophy, and religious studies, these scholars extend critical thinking about Porter’s work beyond the thematic readings that have dominated previous scholarship. In doing so, the authors approach the novel from theoretical perspectives that examine what happens when Pollyanna engages with the world around her—her community and the natural environment—exposing the implicit philosophical, religious, and nationalist ideologies of the era in which Pollyanna was written. The final section is devoted to studies of adaptations of Porter’s protagonist.

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Engaging Children and Youth in Africa

Methodological and Phenomenological Issues

Mwenda Ntarangwi

Representing research from east, central, west, and southern Africa, Engaging Children and Youth in Africa provides a well-balanced analysis of on-the-ground data with methodological and phenomenological issues that abound in much of research in Africa today. With an introduction that charts out some of the most critical approaches in African-centred research on children and youth, contributors to this volume give the reader a glimpse of the product of engaged research that places children and youth at the centre of analysis. The authors follow recent studies that have insisted on seeing African childhood and youth beyond constraining Western notions of vulnerability or innocence, to capture the ways in which recent advances in technology, the intensification of global processes, and continued weakening of the nation-state have not only contributed to new ways of being children and youth but how they have also provided a new lens through which to study social change.

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Ethics in Light of Childhood

John Wall

Childhood faces humanity with its own deepest and most perplexing questions. An ethics that truly includes the world's childhoods would transcend pre-modern traditional communities and modern rational autonomy with a postmodern aim of growing responsib

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Excision: Les jeunes changent l�Afrique par les TIC

Assessing the impact of twenty-five years of action to promote the discontinuation of female circumcision (FGM) in Francophone West Africa, should consider a key issue: the contribution of the digital revolution, and how young people - girls and boys - have been associated. As victims, subjects, objects, actors, citizens, leaders and family and community stakeholders, FGM is for them a matter of concern. Youth, ICTs and FGM reveal gender issues that must be transversally integrated in public, private, citizen and personal development policies. This is the main message of this book, which presents the results of an innovative action research conducted by ENDA Tiers Monde, with the participation of girls and boys in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. The study is in the French language.

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Family Trouble

Middle-Class Parents, Children's Problems, and the Disruption of Everyday Life

Ara Francis

Our children mean the world to us. They are so central to our hopes and dreams that we will do almost anything to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. What happens, then, when a child has serious problems? In Family Trouble, a compelling portrait of upheaval in family life, sociologist Ara Francis tells the stories of middle-class men and women whose children face significant medical, psychological, and social challenges. 
 
Francis interviewed the mothers and fathers of children with such problems as depression, bi-polar disorder, autism, learning disabilities, drug addiction, alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Children’s problems, she finds, profoundly upset the foundations of parents’ everyday lives, overturning taken-for-granted expectations, daily routines, and personal relationships. Indeed, these problems initiated a chain of disruption that moved through parents’ lives in domino-like fashion, culminating in a crisis characterized by uncertainty, loneliness, guilt, grief, and anxiety. Francis looks at how mothers and fathers often differ in their interpretation of a child’s condition, discusses the gendered nature of child rearing, and describes how parents struggle to find effective treatments and to successfully navigate medical and educational bureaucracies. But above all, Family Trouble examines how children’s problems disrupt middle-class dreams of the “normal” family. It captures how children’s problems “radiate” and spill over into other areas of parents’ lives, wreaking havoc even on their identities, leading them to reevaluate deeply held assumptions about their own sense of self and what it means to achieve the good life.  

Engagingly written, Family Trouble offers insight to professionals and solace to parents. The book offers a clear message to anyone in the throes of family trouble: you are in good company, and you are not as different as you might feel...

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Fantasies of Neglect

Imagining the Urban Child in American Film and Fiction

By Pamela Robertson Wojcik

From Harriet the Spy to Hugo Cabret, American popular culture is filled with fictional children who journey through cities, unsupervised by adults. Fantasies of Neglect explains how this trope of the self-sufficient urban child originated and considers why it persists, even in the era of stranger danger and helicopter parenting. Drawing from a wide range of films, novels, and sociological texts, Pamela Robertson Wojcik investigates how cities have been central to how Americans imagine the freedom and neglect of children.

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Fat Blame

Fat Blame

Looking through the prisms of gender, race, and class, Herndon traces how the gospel of personal responsibility permeates American thinking about fatness and in the process often victimizes women and children

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Fathers' Fair Share

Helping Poor Men Manage Child Support and Fatherhood

One of the most challenging goals for welfare reformers has been improving the collection of child support payments from noncustodial parents, usually fathers. Often vilified as deadbeats who have dropped out of their children's lives, these fathers have been the target of largely punitive enforcement policies that give little consideration to the complex circumstances of these men's lives.

Fathers' Fair Share presents an alternative to these measures with an in-depth study of the Parents Fair Share Program. A multi-state intervention run by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, the program was designed to better the life skills of nonpaying fathers with children on public assistance, in the belief that this would encourage them to improve their level of child support. The men chosen for the program frequently lived on the margins of society. Chronically unemployed or underemployed, undereducated, and often earning their money on the streets, they bore the scars of drug or alcohol abuse, troubled family lives, and arrest records. Among those of African American and Hispanic descent, many felt a deep-rooted distrust of the mainstream economy. The Parents Fair Share Program offered these men the chance not only to learn the social skills needed for stable employment but to participate in discussions about personal difficulties, racism, and problems in their relationships with their children and families.

Fathers' Fair Share details the program's mix of employment training services, peer support groups, and formal mediation of disputes between custodial and noncustodial parents. Equally important, the authors explore the effect of the participating fathers' expectations and doubts about the program, which were colored by their often negative views about the child support and family law system. The voices heard in Fathers' Fair Share provides a rare look into the lives of low-income fathers and how they think about their struggles and prospects, their experiences in the workplace, and their responsibilities toward their families. Parents Fair Share demonstrated that, in spite of their limited resources, these men are more likely to make stronger efforts to improve support payments and to become greater participants in their children's lives if they encounter a less adversarial and arbitrary enforcement system.

Fathers' Fair Share offers a valuable resource to the design of social welfare programs seeking to reach out to this little-understood population, and addresses issues of tremendous importance for those concerned about welfare reform, child support enforcement, family law, and employment policy.

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Fathers Under Fire

The Revolution in Child Support Enforcement

"This important and highly informative collection of studies on nonresidentfathers and child support should be of great value to scholars and policymakers alike." —American Journal of Sociology

Over half of America's children will live apart from their fathers at some point as they grow up, many in the single-mother households that increasingly make up the nation's poor. Federal efforts to improve the collection of child support from fathers appear to have little effect on payments, and many critics have argued that forcing fathers to pay does more harm than good. Much of the uncertainty surrounding child support policies has stemmed from a lack of hard data on nonresident fathers. Fathers Under Fire presents the best available information on the financial and social circumstances of the men who are at the center of the debate. In this volume, social scientists and legal scholars explore the issues underlying the child support debate, chief among them on the potential repercussions of stronger enforcement.

Who are nonresident fathers? This volume calls upon both empirical and theoretical data to describe them across a broad economic and social spectrum. Absentee fathers who do not pay child support are much more likely to be school dropouts and low earners than fathers who pay, and nonresident fathers altogether earn less than resident fathers. Fathers who start new families are not significantly less likely to support previous children. But can we predict what would happen if the government were to impose more rigorous child support laws? The data in this volume offer a clearer understanding of the potential benefits and risks of such policies. In contrast to some fears, stronger enforcement is unlikely to push fathers toward. But it does seem to have more of an effect on whether some fathers remarry and become responsible for new families. In these cases, how are subsequent children affected by a father's pre-existing obligations? Should such fathers be allowed to reduce their child support orders in order to provide for their current families? Should child support guidelines permit modifications in the event of a father's changed financial circumstances? Should government enforce a father's right to see his children as well as his obligation to pay support? What can be done to help under- or unemployed fathers meet their payments? This volume provides the information and insight to answer these questions.

The need to help children and reduce the public costs of welfare programs is clear, but the process of achieving these goals is more complex. Fathers Under Fire offers an indispensable resource to those searching for effective and equitable solutions to the problems of child support.

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