Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children - download pdf or read online

By Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

During this groundbreaking quantity at the human rights of kids, acclaimed analyst, political theorist, and biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl argues that prejudice exists opposed to childrens as a gaggle and that it's resembling racism, sexism, and homophobia. This prejudice—“childism”—legitimates and rationalizes a huge continuum of acts that aren't “in the easiest pursuits of children,” together with the customarily violent severe of kid abuse and overlook. in response to Young-Bruehl, reform is feasible provided that we recognize this prejudice in its uncomplicated types and handle the factors and cultural forces that force it, instead of stay at the numerous different types of abuse and punishment.

“There will continuously be contributors and societies that activate their children," writes Young-Bruehl, “breaking the usual order Aristotle defined and a part millennia in the past in his Nichomachean Ethics." In Childism, Young-Bruehl focuses specially at the ways that american citizens have departed from the child-supportive traits of the nice Society and of the United international locations conference at the Rights of the Child.

Many years within the making, Childism attracts upon quite a lot of assets, from the literary and philosophical to the felony and psychoanalytic. Woven into this awesome quantity are case reports that remove darkness from the profound significance of hearing the sufferers who've rather a lot to inform us in regards to the noticeable and invisible ways that childism is expressed.

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The goat, a common choice of sacrificial animal among the ancients, supplied modern languages with words meaning “sin goat” or scapegoat: Suedenbock in German; capro espiatorio, “expiatory goat,” in Italian. Children are often scapegoats. To this old idea that people use a pharmikon or scapegoat to get rid of their bad parts or their bad past, psychoanalytic theorists have added the idea that target groups can operate as phobic objects. In this situation people with phobias project unwanted aspects of themselves onto some object or 39 Anatomy of a Prejudice place and then come to fear the object or place that “contains” those rejected aspects: a snake or a spider, a bogeyman or a witch, a bridge, a plane going up or an elevator going down, an expanse or a narrow defile, rats, vermin, germs.

But other hysterics project onto the bodies of others—in extreme cases, making others ill, beating them, or focusing various kinds of violence upon their genitals, from castration to rape. Much less extreme hysterics arrange people in scenes and dramas, dictating roles to them but not necessarily abusing them physically or sexually. These “drama queens” (to use a pop word) are “histrionic” (to use the word employed in contemporary psychiatric diagnostic manuals). Hysterical characters commonly grow up in milieus where the family life is double- or two-tiered.

The “classic” hysterics described by Freud, most of them female, projected their uncontainable wildness onto their own bodies and produced bodily symptoms (known as conversion symptoms) like eating disorders, paralysis, fatigue, swooning, sexual dysfunction. But other hysterics project onto the bodies of others—in extreme cases, making others ill, beating them, or focusing various kinds of violence upon their genitals, from castration to rape. Much less extreme hysterics arrange people in scenes and dramas, dictating roles to them but not necessarily abusing them physically or sexually.

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Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl


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