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National Citizenship and Early Policies Shaping 'the Century of the Child' in Sweden and the United States
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Journal of the history of children and youth, ISSN E: 1941-3599 Print: 1939-6724, Vol. 1, no 1, 50-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Kriste Lindenmeyer and Bengt Sandin have employed fruitfully a comparative approach to examine Progressive era American and Swedish ideals for children. They found that while both began with similar enthusiasm for protecting childhood and providing all children with education and health care, the actual policies of neither country wound up delivering on the promise of "the century of the child." As they write, in both countries "adult priorities overwhelmed public policies." Like the recent UNICEF report on the conditions of global childhood, this essay reminds us that while the virtues of western-style childhood have been assumed and, indeed, have been the model against which historians traditionally have measured other childhoods, these assumptions need rethinking, both as to the relative value of other cultural constructions of childhood as well as to the belief that western childhood has actually delivered on its promises.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Hopkins University press , 2008. Vol. 1, no 1, 50-62 p.
Keyword [en]
childhood, welfare system, comparative, children, rights, Sweden, United States
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61288DOI: 10.1353/hcy.2008.0012OAI: diva2:369419
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2013-04-05

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Department of Child StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences

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