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Student Spotlight

We R Arts and Sciences: Yvonne Pulliam

"The fact that Yvonne Pulliam is the recent recipient of the Childhood Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award is a testament to her dedication and enthusiasm for her studies." Read more ...

Spring 2015 Newsletters

Book Series

The Rutgers University Press

The Rutgers University Press Book Series is the first multidisciplinary book series in Childhood Studies. The book series, edited by Myra Bluebond-Langner, PhD, Professor and True Colours Chair in Palliative Care for Children and Young People at the University College, London, Institute of Child Health and Board of Governors Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University , provides a major opportunity for the Center and University to shape this new field. The purpose of this series is to increase understanding of children and childhood experiences in the United States and abroad. The series reflects the current view of children and approaches to the study of childhood. Authors come from a variety of fields including: anthropology, criminal justice, history, literature, psychology, religion, and sociology. Books address not only to a scholarly audience, but also to those directly responsible for ministering to children’s needs and formulating policies affecting their lives and futures.

Published Books in Childhood Studies

Raising Your Kids Right: Children’s Literature and American Political Conservatism
Michelle Ann Abate
Publication Date: 2010

Raising Your Kids RightThe U.S. culture wars are fought on a number of fronts-including children’s literature.  Bringing together such diverse and seemingly disparate fields of inquiry as cultural studies, literary criticism, political sciences, popular culture, childhood studies, brand marketing and the study of the cult of celebrity in the United States, Raising Your Kids Right spotlights as a series of texts which offer information, ideology and even instructions for how to raise kids right, not just figuratively but politically.  Taking us through text by William Bennett, Lynne Cheney, and Bill O’Reilly, as well as pro-logging rebuttal of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and a series of evangelical Christian young adult novels that dramatize the end of the world and the return of Jesus.  Abate’s work dispels lingering societal attitudes that narratives for young readers lack socio-political commentary and are unworthy of serious critical study.  Indeed, they embody and important intellectual, material and culture component in the rise of the New Right and the power of millennial social conservatism. 

Michelle Anne Abate is an assistant professor of English at Hollins University

Rights and Wrongs of Children’s Work: New Perspectives from Research and Action
Michael F. Bourdillon, Deborah Levison, William E. Myers, and Ben White
Publication Date: 2012

Rights and Wrongs of Children's WorkAlmost all the world’s children work at some time in their lives.  In some instances the work is extremely harmful; in other relatively harmless; and in still other are beneficial, a positive element in growing up.  It is questionable whether current child labor policies and interventions, even though pursued with the best intentions, succeed either in protecting children against harm or in promoting their access to education and other opportunities for successful futures.  Incorporating recent theoretical advances in childhood studies and in child development, the authors argue for the need to re-think assumptions that underlie current policies on child labor.  Drawing on well-documented historical cases ranging from contemporary Morocco to nineteenth-century Britain, the authors examine concrete situations of work and schooling, suggesting that not all paid work outside the home is harmful to children, and that not all unpaid work-not even all work in the family or school-is harmless to children.  They also explore ideas of children’s independence in the workforce as well as how working as a child can positively contribute to adolescent development.  The authors, while sensitive to the abusive nature of some children’s work, maintain that a “workless” childhood free of all responsibilities is not a good preparation for adult life in any society.

Michael F.C. Bourdillon is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Zimbabwe.  Deborah Levison is associate professor of population analysis and policy at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  William E. Myers is a research associate in human and community development at the University of California, Davis.  Ben White is a professor of rural sociology and director of the International Centre for Child and Youth Studies (ICCYS) at the Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague, and professor in social sciences at the University of Amsterdam. 

Children and Childhood in American Religions
Edited by Don S. Browning and Bonnie Miller-McLemore
Publication Date: 2009

Children and Childhood in American ReligionsChildren and Childhood in American Religions is a groundbreaking collection of essays that brings the field of religion into the scholarly discourse on childhood in America. The authors consider the various ways in which different religions and religious groups define and guide children within the context of American culture and society. What is their understanding and view of American children? How does each interpret, reconstruct, and mediate its traditions, beliefs and practices to support and guide children in light of what they see to be the dominant threats and opportunities of American life?

Don Browning is a professor emeritus of ethics and social sciences in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore is a professor of pastoral theology and counseling at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University.

Children and Childhood in World Religions: Primary Sources and Texts
Edited by Don Browning and Marcia Bunge
Publication Date: 2009

Children and Childhood in World ReligionsWhile children figure prominently in religious traditions, few books have directly explored the complex relationships between children and religion. Children and Childhood in World Religions is the first book to examine the theme of children in major religions of the world. Each of six chapters focuses on one religious tradition and includes and introduction and a selection of primary texts ranging from legal to liturgical and from ancient to contemporary. Through both the scholarly introductions and the primary sources, this comprehensive volume addresses a range of topics, from the sanctity of birth through to a child’s relationship to evil.

Don Browning is a professor emeritus of ethics and social sciences in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Marcia J. Bunge is a professor of theology and humanities at Valparaiso University and director of the Child in Religion and Ethics Project.

Vietnam’s Children in a Changing World
Rachel Burr
Publication Date: 2006

Vietnam's Children in a Changing WorldUsing ethnographic material gathered on the streets of Vietnam, from international aid agencies, orphanages, reform schools and Vietnamese governmental organizations, this book explores the complex lives of children who work and live on the streets in urban Vietnam. Arguing against the pervasive Western bias that undergirds the work of many international aid agencies, Rachel Burr demonstrates that we must understand the economic imperatives and the Vietnamese cultural emphasis on work and filial obligation that lead Vietnamese children to street work.

Rachel Burr is a lecturer in childhood studies at the Centre for Childhood, Development and Learning at The Open University, London, UK.

Inventing Modern Adolescence:
The Children of Immigrants in Turn-of-the-Century America

Sarah E. Chinn
Publication Date: 2008

Inventing Modern AdolescenceThe 1960s are commonly considered to be the beginning of a distinct “teenage culture” in America. But did this highly visible era of free love and rock ‘n’ roll really mark the start of adolescent defiance? In Inventing Modern Adolescence: The Children of Immigrants in Turn of the Century America Chinn follows the roots of American teenage identity further back, to the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. She argues that the concept of the “generation gap,” a stereotypical complaint against American teens actually originated with the division between immigrant parents and their American born or -raised children. Melding a uniquely urban immigrant sensibility with commercialized consumer culture and a youth-oriented ethos characterized by fun, leisure, and overt sexual behavior; these young people formed a new identity that provided the framework for today’s concepts of teenage lifestyle.

Sarah E. Chinn is an associate professor of English at Hunter College, and the executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.

In Sickness and in PlayIn Sickness and in Play: Children Coping with Chronic Illness
Cindy Dell Clark

Publication Date: 2003

Cindy Dell Clark shows how children adapt to chronic illness. Focusing on asthma and diabetes, she examines how children experience symptoms, suffering and treatment. Clark demonstrates how children use play, ritual, games and humor to cope with illness.

Cindy Dell Clark is a Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University-Camden, Center for Children and Childhood Studies

Pleasures and Perils: Girls’ Sexuality in a Caribbean Consumer Culture
Debra Curtis
Publication Date: 2009

Pleasure and PerilsWhat is the relationship between intimate acts and private desires and larger cultural and economic factors? If we assume that sexuality is strongly influenced by cultural forces then how do we account for the ways individuals craft their own sexual lives? In Pleasures and Perils, anthropologist Debra Curtis turns her attention to the much neglected subject of the sexuality of Caribbean girls. Like many girls in the developing world, they occupy an intensely marginalized social position. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on Nevis, an increasingly globalized island society, Curtis investigates the conditions of sexual exploitation and the nature of sexual pleasure to emphasize the ways in which religion, public health, and consumer culture shape girls’ sexualities. Just as importantly, Curtis explores how girls navigate various social, cultural and personal tensions in their lives. Ultimately, this ethnography demonstrates that sexuality is a domain of power and powerlessness, self-determination and cultural control.

Debra Curtis is an associate professor of anthropology at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI

Contesting Childhood:  Autobiography: Trauma and Memory
Kate Douglas

Publication:  Winter 2009

Contested ChildhoodContesting Childhood interrogates the popular autobiography of childhood form and considers how these autobiographies have becomes such a literary phenomenon in the 1990s and 2000s.  Drawing on trauma and memory studies, the sociology of childhood, and the theories of authorship and readership, Contesting Childhood offers commentary on the triumphs, trials and tribulations that have affected the genre, and the particular preoccupations and the investments in childhood that these autobiographies reveal.  Contesting Childhood examines a varied selection of autobiographies written by a diverse range of authors –  from experienced to first-time authors, from literary through popular autobiographies. 

Kate Douglas is a senior lecturer in the department of English, Creative Writing and Australian Studies at Flinders University.

Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality
Jessica Fields
Publication Date: Summer 2008

Risky LessonsIn Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality Fields considers the current controversy surrounding sexuality education as it plays out in classrooms and everyday lives of students and teachers. This ethnographic study of sex education in three U.S. schools illuminates the intended and unintended consequences of young people gathering to discuss the bounds of sexual health, acceptability, and pleasure.

Fields finds that students learn not only how to care for themselves, but also important lessons about relating to their own and other’s sexualities. These lessons reflect, reinforce, and sometimes challenge racial, gender, and other social inequalities.

Jessica Fields is an assistant professor of sociology at San Francisco State University

Winner of the

from the American Sociological Association’s
Section on Race, Gender, and Class

We Fight To Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism
Hava Rachel Gordon
Publication Date: 2009

We Fight to Win - book coverIn an adult-dominated society, young people often find themselves shut out of political participation processes. In We Fight to Win, sociologist Hava Rachel Gordon offers a compelling account of the attempts of young people to break into community politics, and documents the battles that teens wage to form youth movements and create social change in their schools and neighborhoods. Gordon examines two youth movements in two U.S. cities to show how these activists employ a variety of strategies to disrupt adult power in order to become political forces. These strategies however, are far from universal. Gordon shows the many ways in which the politics of youth activism are structured by overlapping age, race, class, and gendered axis of power and privilege. This is one of the first books to take an in-depth look at how youth politics operates on the ground and in the lives of adolescents working for social change.

Hava Rachel Gordon is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Denver.

Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and Material Culture of Children
Marta Gutman and Ning De Coninck-Smith, editors
Publication Date:2007

Gutman, Designing Modern ChildhoodsIn this volume, historians, ethnographers, geographers, and architects examine the history and design of places and objects associated with children historically and in the present day. They consider parks, playgrounds, schools, houses, computer games, dolls and pacifiers. The volume also explores children’s points of view about the spaces, buildings, and objects they use and create in the modern world. By constructing children to be creators and carriers of culture, [the] authors extract common threads in children’s understandings of the material world, all the while recognizing the experience of modernity varies for children across time, through space, and according to gender, race, social class, age, national and local cultures.


Marta Gutman is a professor of architecture at City College of New York. Ning de Coninck-Smith is an associate professor of educational sociology at the Danish Educational University.

Girlhood: A Global History
Edited by Jennifer C. Hillman Helgren and Colleen A. Vasconcellos
Publication:  Winter 2010

Girls in the WorldConsidered to be one of history’s most silent subjects, children continue to occupy the margins of academic inquiry.  Social and cultural historians have only recently begun to fill this lacuna.  Despite a paucity of sources, especially when it comes to girls, new and established scholars have taken on the challenge of recovering these lost histories.  Girls in the World:  A History of Girlhood in a Global Context critically explores the nexus of children’s and women’s history in international and transnational contexts.  The author of each chapter assesses how girls in specific localities were affected by historical developments such as political repression, war, shifts in the labor market, migrations, and the rise of consumer culture, and demonstrates the centrality of girlhood in shaping women’s lives and experiences. 

Jennifer Helgren is a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of the Pacific.  Colleen Vasconcellos is a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of West Georgia.

Between Good and Ghetto:  African American Girls in Inner City Violence
Nikki Jones

Publication Date: 2009

Between the Good the GhettoIn Between Good and Ghetto, Nikki Jones draws on the scholarly traditions of urban ethnography, Black feminist thought, and gender studies to explain the social situation of African American, inner city girls.  This richly descriptive account of how inner city girls negotiate school and neighborhood settings that are governed by the “code of the street” (Anderson 1999) – the form of street justice that governs violence in distressed urban areas –  reveals the multiple strategies that girls use to negotiate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and the gendered consequences that result from these strategies. Between Good and Ghetto illuminates the inner city girl’s struggle for survival and encourages academics, policymakers, and community activists to move African American girls toward the center of discussion of the crisis in distressed urban neighborhoods. 

Named one of the
“10 Best Black Books of 2009”
by Tri-State Defender Newspaper

Nikki Jones is an assistant professor of sociology at [the] University of California, Santa Barbara.

Donna Michelle Lanclos
Publication Date: 2003 

At Play in BelfastDonna Lanclos writes about children on school playgrounds in Belfast, Northern Ireland, using their own words to show how they shape their identities. The notion that children’s voices and perspectives must be included in a work about childhood is central to the book. Lanclos explores children’s folklore, including skipping rhymes, clapping games, and “dirty” jokes, from five Belfast primary schools. She listens for what she can learn about gender, family, adult-child interactions and Protestant/Catholic tensions. Lanclos frequently notes violent themes in the folklore and conversations that indicate children are aware of the reality in which they live. At the same time however, children resist being marginalized by adults, who try to shield them from this reality.


Donna Lanclos is an instructor in anthropology at University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Race in the SchoolyardRace in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities
Amanda Lewis
Publication Date: 2003


This book won the
2005 Critics’ Choice Award

by the American Educational Studies Association
and the 2004 Myers Outstanding Book Award.

Amanda Lewis explores how racial identity and racial inequality are reproduced daily in elementary school. She suggests that schools and teachers are centrally involved in drawing and reinforcing racial lines, rather than mitigating inequality. Lewis’s research is based on ethnographic observation in classrooms, schoolyards, and lunchrooms in three elementary schools. Although these are places where race is not supposed to matter, Lewis shows how race insinuates itself into everyday school life.

Amanda Lewis is
an associate professor of sociology at Emory University.  

The Child in Film: Tears, Fears and Fairy Tales
Karen Lury
Publication Date: 2010

The Child in FilmGhastly and ghostly children, “dirty little white girls,” and the child as witness and as victim have always played an important part in the history of cinema, as have child performers. Yet the disruptive power of the child in films made for an adult audience has been a neglected topic. The Child in Film examines popular films including Taxi Driver, Man on Fire, and contemporary Japanese horror, as well as “art house” productions such as Mirror, La Jetée, and Pan’s Labyrinth, and questions why the figure of the child has such a significant impact on the visual aspects and storytelling potential of cinema.

Karen Lury argues that the child as a liminal yet powerful agent has allowed filmmakers to play adventurously with cinema’s formal conventions, with far-reaching consequences. She reveals how a child’s relationship to time allows it to disturb conventional master-narratives and explores how the concern for and investment in the child actor conceals the reality of film acting and the skills of the child performer. She addresses the expression of child sexuality, and questions existing assumptions as to who children “really are.”

Karen Lury is an associate professor of film and television studies at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of British Youth Television: Cynicism and Enchantment and Interpreting Television, and an editor of the international film and television studies journal, Screen.

Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls’ Organizations in America
Susan A. Miller
Publication Date: 2007

Growing Girls by Susan MillerCookies and camping may be the first things that spring to mind when Americans think about Girl Scouting, but in this history of girls’ organizations, Miller shows that much greater issues were at stake. At the turn of the twentieth century, experts identified adolescence as a new and potentially perilous life-stage. If not properly navigated, they argued, female adolescence threatened the health of the individual, the integrity of the family, and even the welfare of the State. In the midst of these dire predictions, girls’ organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, the Campfire Girls, the Girl Pioneers, offered a different vision. Growing Girls explores leaders’ efforts to create a modern conception of girlhood that would help girls redefine their relationships to their American heritage, their families, and their own bodies.

Susan A. Miller is an assistant professor of childhood studies at Rutgers University, Camden.

Imagined Orphans: Poor Families, Child Welfare, Contested Citizenship in London, 1870-1918
Lydia Murdoch
Publication Date: 2006

Imagined OrphansImagined Orphans explores the discrepancy between the representation and reality of children’s experiences within welfare institutions in Victorian London. Reformers portrayed children who resided in institutions as either orphaned or abandoned by unworthy parents, much like Oliver Twist, the archetypal workhouse child. Imagined Orphans demonstrates that most institutionalized children had at least one living parent, that parents turned to welfare services as solutions to short-term crises rather than as permanent depositories for children, and that many parents struggled to maintain contact with their children during the period of institutionalization. The book documents the place of the poor in Victorian welfare practices and the contested, class-based nature of citizenship in the late nineteenth century.

Lydia Murdoch is an associate professor of history at Vassar College.

Translating Childhoods: Immigrant Youth, Language, and Culture
Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
Publication: 2009

Translating ChildhoodsThough the dynamics of immigrant family life has gained attention from scholars, little is known about the younger generation, often considered “invisible.”  Translating Childhoods, a unique contribution to the study of immigrant youth, brings children to the forefront by exploring the “work” they perform as language and culture brokers, and the impact of this largely unseen contribution.  Skilled in two vernaculars, children shoulder basic and more complicated verbal exchanges for non-English speaking adults.  Readers hear, through children’s own words, what it means to be “in the middle” or to hold the “keys to communication” that adults otherwise would lack.  Drawing from ethnographic research in three immigrant communities, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana’s study expands the child labor definition by assessing children’s roles as translators as part of a cost equation in an era of global restructuring and considers how sociocultural learning and development is shaped as a result of the children’s role as translators.     

Marjorie Faulstick Orellana is an associate professor of education at UCLA.

Rethinking Childhood
Peter B. Pufall and Richard P. Unsworth, eds.
Publication Date: 2002

Rethinking ChildhoodTwenty percent of American children live in poverty, parents are divorcing at high rates, and educational institutions are not always fulfilling their goals. Against this backdrop, children are often patronized or idealized by adults. Rarely do we look for the strengths within children that can serve as the foundation for growth and development. In Rethinking Childhood, twenty contributors, coming from the disciplines of anthropology, government, law, psychology, education, religion, philosophy, and sociology, provide a multidisciplinary view of childhood focusing on the ways in which children shape their own futures. The contributors present ideas that lead not only to new analyses, but also to innovative policy applications. They challenge readers to develop fresh ways of listening to children’s voices that enable both children and adults.

Peter B. Pufall is a professor emeritus of psychology at Smith College.
Richard P. Unsworth
is a senior fellow of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College.

Armies of the Young: Child Soldiers in War and Terrorism
David M. Rosen
Publication Date: 2005

Armies of the YoungChildren have served as warriors throughout history – as uniformed soldiers, camouflaged insurgents, and even suicide bombers. Are child soldier’s aggressors or victims? It is a difficult question with no obvious answer; yet in recent years the acceptable answer among humanitarian organizations and scholars has been the latter. These children are seen as hideous examples of adult criminal exploitation.

David Rosen argues that this response oversimplifies the child soldier problem. Drawing examples from three parts of the world, he shows how children are not always passive victims, but often make the rational decision that the one thing worse than fighting is not fighting.

David M. Rosen is a professor of anthropology and law at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Schaffner, Girls in TroubleGirls in Trouble with the Law
Laurie Schaffner
Publication Date: Summer 2006

Girls in Trouble with the Law takes us to the heart of life for adolescent girls in secure juvenile facilities across the United States. In bringing the voices of court-involved young women into the public conversation about youth crime, adolescent sexuality and community violence, Laurie Schaffner’s vibrant ethnography offers new views of youth experiences with racism, poverty, violence, and sexuality as well as a critique of the ways gender and justice are produced in the juvenile legal system.

Winner of the Distinguished Contribution Award
from the American Sociological Association’s
Section on Children and Youth

Laurie Schaffner is an associate professor of criminal justice and sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  

Disrupted Childhoods: Children of Women in Prison
Jane Siegel
Publication Date: 2011

Disrupted ChildhoodsDisrupted Childhoods: Children of Women in Prison explores the issues arising from a mother’s incarceration, and provides first person accounts of the experiences of children whose mothers are in prison. The book offers an unparalleled view into children’s lives before and after their mother’s confinement. Interviews with nearly 70 children and their mothers conducted at different points in their mothers’ involvement in the criminal justice system bring to light the lived experiences of prisoners’ children. Siegel places the mother’s incarceration in the context of other aspects of the children’s lives; characterized by numerous hardships and traumas. Disrupted Childhoods contributes to our understanding of this at risk population of children, and humanizes the discourse about incarceration’s collateral consequences.

Jane A. Siegel is an associate professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University, Camden.

 New Titles in Childhood Studies (Forthcoming)  Ambivalent Encounters: Childhood, Tourism, and Social Change in Banaras, India
Jenny Huberman
Publication Date: September 2012

In many parts of the world children make a living by selling goods and services to foreign tourists. Ambivalent Encounters is one of the first books to provide an in-depth look at how children participate in the global tourist economy. Drawing upon twenty months of fieldwork, Jenny Huberman analyzes encounters between western tourists and the children who work as unlicensed peddlers and guides along the riverfront in the sacred city of Banaras, India. She explores how and why these children elicit such powerful reactions from western tourists and locals in their community, while also detailing the way the children themselves experience their work and render it meaningful. Bringing together scholarship on the anthropology of childhood, tourism, consumption and exchange, Ambivalent Encounters asks: how do children come to be valued and devalued within the global sphere? Why do children so frequently emerge as sources of anxiety, fantasy and debate? What role do children play in representing and configuring people’s experiences of socioeconomic change? Why have children increasingly become objects of touristic desire and disdain? How do children actively navigate and experience their lives? What might it take to more effectively inscribe their efforts within the anthropological record? Finally, what can these encounters teach us more generally about the highly mediated and often ambivalent nature of human interaction?

Jenny Huberman is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Their Time Has Come: Youth with Disabilities Entering Adulthood
Valerie Leiter
Publication Date: Spring/Summer 2012

The lives of youth with disabilities have changed radically in the past 50 years. Youth who are coming of age right now are the first generation to receive educational services throughout childhood and adolescence. Disability policies have opened up opportunities to youth, and they have responded by getting higher levels of education than ever before. Yet many youth are being left behind, compared to their peers without disabilities. Youth with disabilities often still face major obstacles to independence. Leiter argues that there are crucial missing links between federal disability policies and youth’s lives. Youth and their parents struggle to gather information about the resources that disability policies have created, and youth are not typically prepared to use their disability rights effectively. Her argument is based on thorough examination of federal disability policy and interviews with young people with disabilities, their parents, and rehabilitation professionals. Attention is given to the diversity of expectations, the resources available to them, and the impact of federal policy and public and private attitudes on their transition to adulthood.

Valerie Leiter is associate professor of sociology and chair of the department of sociology at Simmons College.

Country Boys, City Boys: Masculinity, Place, and the Gender Gap in Education
Edward Morris
Publication Date: 2012

Edward Morris’s second book, Country Boys, City Boys: Masculinity, Place, and the Gender Gap in Education, examines the purported “gender gap” between boys and girls in educational achievement at two low-income high schools. This gender gap – in which girls outperform boys academically – has been much-discussed in the popular media, and has also been treated in a few academic books, but Morris’s exceptional ethnographic study brings a new perspective to this discussion by advancing a more theoretically grounded approach, allowing him to document this gender gap in achievement using contemporary gender theories. The author spent time in two low-income schools, one rural and predominantly white, the other urban and mostly African-American, and uses his in-depth, on-the-scene research to explain how race, class, and geographic location combine to influence and complicate the construction of gender identities among high school students.

Edward Morris is an assistant professor in the department of sociology at the University of Kentucky.

 Child Solidiers: From Patriots to Victims
David Rosen
Publication: 2012

Once valorized as courageous patriots, child soldiers are now seen as victims of child abuse.  Activities once considered normal are now considered deviant and criminal.  Drawing on studies of child soldiers from the seventeenth through the twenty-first century in the U.S., the U.K., and several African countries, Rosen and Rosenbloom explore when, why and how the shift occurred, its consequences for these children and the societies and cultures of which they are a part.  They also consider what is needed for meaningful and effective policies regarding children’s participation in wars and conflicts.  Rosen and Rosenbloom take the position that our romanaticized notions of childhood as a period requiring the protection of children, leads to a view of the use of children as soldiers as a form of deviancy and to policies that are not necessarily in the best interest of the children or of the societies of which they are a part.  Moreover these policies will not insure a decrease in the use of child soldiers, one of their major goals.

David Rosen is a professor of anthropology and law at Farleigh Dickinson University.

Learning Race, Learning Place: Shaping Racial Identities and Ideas in African American Childhoods
Erin N. Winkler
Publication Date:2012

How do children negotiate and make meaning of multiple and conflicting messages to develop their own ideas about race? Learning Race, Learning Place engages this question using in-depth interviews with an economically diverse group of African American children and their mothers. Through these rich narratives, Erin N. Winkler seeks to reorient the way we look at how children develop their ideas about race through the introduction of a new framework—comprehensive racial learning—that shows the importance of considering this process from children’s points of view and listening to their interpretations of their experiences, which are often quite different from what the adults around them expect or intend. Winkler examines the roles of multiple actors and influences, including gender, skin tone, colorblind rhetoric, peers, family, media, school, and, especially, place. She brings to the fore the complex and understudied power of place, positing that while children’s racial identities and experiences are shaped by a national construction of race, they are also specific to a particular place that exerts both direct and indirect influence on their racial identities and ideas.

Erin N. Winkler is an assistant professor in the department of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Publications in the Rutgers University Press Childhood Studies series (alphabetical by title)   
Selected Other Rutgers University Press Books on Childhood   
School Talk
Donna Eder
grasmuck cover Sherri Grasmuck, Janet GoldwaterProtecting Home
Heins coverMarjorie HeinsNot in Front of the Children
Pretty Punk
Lorraine LeBlanc
American Child
Caroline F. Levander and Carol Singley
Haenfler coverRoss HaenflerStraight Edge
Sold Separately
Ellen Seiter
Sold Separately: Parents and Children in Consumer Culture
Simkins coverSandra SimkinsWhen Kids get Arrested
Gender Play
Barrie  Thorne

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