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Small Wars

The Cultural Politics of Childhood

Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Editor), Carolyn Sargent (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 464 pages
ISBN: 9780520209183
January 1999
$34.95, £27.00
Small Wars gathers together a hard-hitting series of essays that demonstrate how, at the close of the twentieth century, the world's children are affected by global political-economic structures and by everyday practices embedded in the micro-level interactions of local cultures. Perceived as avenging spirits of aborted fetuses in Japan; as obstacles to, or desired commodities of, narcissistic adult fulfillment in North America; as foot soldiers cast onto the paths of drug wars in Spanish Harlem and ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia; and as "street kids" and public enemies of the middle classes in Brazil, children—these authors suggest—are losing ground. The modern conception of the child as vulnerable and needing protection is giving way to that of the child as miniature adult, a full-circle return to Philippe Ariès's notion of premodern childhood.

The authors raise vital questions about social and structural violence and its impact on children and families; about policies that portray children as innocent victims on the one hand and as irredeemable criminals on the other; and about the global economic and political conditions that place many of the world's children at risk. Providing groundbreaking contributions to the contemporary social history and ethnography of childhood, this volume will be important to readers across the social sciences.
Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli
Philippe Bourgois
John A. Brett
Caroline B. Brettell
Donna M. Goldstein
Matthew C. Gutmann
Michael Harris
Daniel Hoffman
Jill E. Korbin
J. S. La Fontaine
Leonard B. Lerer
Lynn M. Morgan
Susan Niermeyer
Maria B. Olujic
Mary Picone
Elizabeth F. S. Roberts
Carolyn Sargent
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Meira Weiss
Linda M. Whiteford
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her many publications include two award-winning books published by California, Death Without Weeping (1992), and Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics (1979). Carolyn Sargent, author of Maternity, Medicine, and Power (California, 1989) and coeditor with Robbie Davis-Floyd of Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge (California, 1997), is Professor of Anthropology and Director of Women's Studies at Southern Methodist University.
"A wake-up call to those who are honestly concerned with global childhood safety."—Carol Stack, author of All Our Kin

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