Childhood and Violence in the Western Tradition [Paperback]

Laurence Brockliss(Author); Heather Montgomery(Author)

ISBN: 9781785707964 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Childhood in the Past Monograph | Volume: 1 | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 352p, 37 b/w illus
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Childhood and Violence in the Western Tradition


The violence and neglect suffered by children today is a common subject of media attention and much political hand-wringing, not just in Britain but in other parts of the western world. As yet, however, there has been no attempt to explore this concern historically and look at how the boundary between good and bad parenting may have changed across time. This book attempts to fill the gap by examining the role of violence and neglect in the relations between parents/careers and children from the Bronze Age to the present. By demonstrating how the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable forms of child rearing has shifted through the ages, and not necessarily in a linear direction, it will emphasize how relatively recent our contemporary understanding of good and bad parenting is, and hence the high likelihood that that understanding has not been completely digested.
The book is divided into six, multi-authored chapters. The first four deal with different manifestations through the centuries of what would be today considered violence and neglect: 1) child sacrifice; 2) infanticide and abandonment; 3) physical and mental cruelty; and 4) exploitation. The fifth and sixth chapters look at the various violent and nonviolent strategies used by children as coping mechanisms in what to us seems a very harsh world. Each chapter consists of a number of short chronologically or thematically specific extracts, written by nearly 40 historians, sociologists, anthropologists, literary scholars and theologians, and knitted together into a coherent narrative by the editors.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Laurence Brockliss and Heather Montgomery)

Child Sacrifice
Child Sacrifice in the Ancient World: Blessings for the Beloved (Francesca Stavrakopoulou)
Childhood, Sacrifice and Redemption (James Francis)
The Blood Libel – Literary Representations of Ritual Child murder in Medieval England (Elisabeth Dutton)
Child Sacrifice in Early Modern Europe: Text, Image and Fantasy (David Maskell)
The Blood Libel against the Jews in Poland (Pawel Maciejko)
The First World War and Child Sacrifice (Adrian Gregory)

Infanticide, Abandonment and Abortion
Infanticide, Abandonment and Abortion in the Graeco-Roman to Early Medieval World: Archaeological Perspectives (Sally Crawford)
Infanticide in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (Martin Ingram)
Infant Abandonment in Europe 1700–1850 (Alysa Levene)
Unwanted Children and Adoption in England (Heather Montgomery)
Stigmatising and Removing Defective Children from Society: The Influence of Eugenic Thinking (Kieron Sheehy)
Abortion in the Twentieth Century in England (Ellie Lee)

Physical Cruelty and Socialisation
Violence in the ‘Upbringing’ of Ancient Sparta (Nigel Kennell)
Corporal Punishment and the Two Christianities (Henrietta Leyser)
Abusive Parenting: The Case of Jacques-Louis Ménétra (Laurence Brockliss)
Children and Physical Cruelty – The Lockean and Rousseauvian Revolution (Anja Müller)
Childhood and Violence in Working-Class England 1800–1870 (Jane Humphries)
Corporal Punishment in the English Public School in the Nineteenth Century (Heather Ellis)
Children, Cruelty and Corporal Punishment in Twentieth-Century England: The Legal Framework (Stephen Cretney)

Child Exploitation
Children at Work in Mycenaean Greece (c. 1680–1050 BCE): A Brief Survey (Chrysanthi Gallou)
Apprenticeship in Northwest Europe 1300–1850 (Laurence Brockliss)
The Royal Navy’s Commissioned Sea Officers 1700–1815 (John Cardwell)
The Rural Child Worker (Jane Humphries)
What was the Effect of Compulsory Schooling on the Phenomenon of Working Children? (Nicola Sheldon)
For Love, not Money: Children’s Unpaid Care Work in Modern Britain (Saul Becker)

Violent Children, Youth Enforcers, and Juvenile Delinquents
Pupil Violence in the French Classroom 1600–1850 (Laurence Brockliss)
Bullying in English Schools and Universities (Laurence Brockliss)
Student Violence in Early Modern Cambridge (Alexandra Shepard)
Masterless Children during the Thirty Years’ War (Alan Ross)
Juvenile Delinquents in Early Nineteenth-Century London (Heather Shore)
Juvenile Delinquents in the Post-War Soviet Union (Juliane Fürst)
Juvenile Crime in Post-war Britain (Abigail Wills)

Coping Strategies and Exit Routes
Pavel Morozov: Soviet Hero (Catriona Kelly)
Child Runaways in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (George Rousseau)
Child Witches in Seventeenth-Century Germany (Lyndal Roper)
The War Games of Children in Nazi Germany (Nicholas Stargardt)
Child Suicide in Jude the Obscure (Josephine McDonagh)
Self Harm – The Curse of Modern Britain (Rosemary Peacocke)

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