In the Name of the Child explores a variety of professional, social, political and cultural constructions of the child in the crucial decades around the First World War when modern notions of `the child' were elaborated and widely institutionalised.
In essays specially written for the book, the contributors describe how medical and welfare initiatives in the name of the child were shaped and how changes in medical and welfare provision were allied to political and ideological interests. Chapters concentrate on the medical invasion of schools, the use of children for medical experiments in American orphanages, how medical intervention gave new priorities in health care, and the construction of child abuse before 1914. Taken as a whole, the book shows clearly how wider moral, political, class and gender interests were imposed on children.
The essays bridge the gap between traditional histories of medicine and welfare, and the social, intellectual and cultural history of childhood. They lay the foundation for understanding contemporary conflicts and concerns about the child, and will appeal not only to those interested in childhood studies and in the history of medicine, psychology, social policy and welfare, but also to students of the culture of modernisation between the 1880s and 1940s.
'All essays are invaluable and provide a rich and informative source not only for those working on childhood and in the field of health and welfare, but also for those interested in wider questions about the nature of society and its cultural, political, and social relationships.' – Social History of Medicine
'In short, the best essays in this collection offer a model of scholarship that grounds the insights of cultrual studies in attention to specific group, institutional, and professional dynamics. And in doing so, they make a needed and provocative contribution to the histories both of medicine and of child welfare.' – Bulletin of the History of Medicine
' [An] oustandingly rich and serious collection of essays.' – Sociology of Health and Illness