Utah State University Faculty Monographs

The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings

Title

The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings

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Description

The raising of children, their role in society, and the degree to which family and community is structured around them, varies quite significantly around the world. The Anthropology of Childhood provides the first comprehensive review of the literature on children from a distinctly anthropological perspective. Bringing together key evidence from cultural anthropology, history, and primate studies, it argues that our common understandings about children are narrowly culture-bound. Whereas the dominant society views children as precious, innocent and preternaturally cute ‘cherubs’, Lancy introduces the reader to societies where children are viewed as unwanted, inconvenient ‘changelings’, or as desired but pragmatically commoditized ‘chattel’. Looking in particular at family structure and reproduction, profiles of children’s caretakers, their treatment at different ages, their play, work, schooling, and transition to adulthood, this volume provides a rich, interesting, and original portrait of children in past and contemporary cultures. Jargon free, politically balanced, this is a must-read for anyone interested in childhood.

ISBN

978-0521887731

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Publication Date

2008

City

New York

Keywords

Children, Cross-cultural studies, Kind, Kulturvergleich, Sozialanthropologie

Recommended Citation

Lancy, David. The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings. New York: Cambridge, 2008.

Comments

Also available for sale through the publisher: Cambridge University Press.

The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings

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