Childhood and "Othering"

Returning Agency, Reclaiming Responsibility

Sociology 111: Family & Sociology
T. K. Robinson, Instructor
Copyright © 2000 B. A. Collie Collier



Project Requirements:

You are asked to consider writing a few sentences for the dustjacket of an author's new book on families and society. In order to select your choice phrases, you are given an essay before it was transformed into a book chapter to review (you can treat any of the essays we've read in this fashion). While you are given a two sentence dustjacket limit, you decide to write a full review from which you situation the author's position/intervention within a field of work on childhood, family, and the media which you'll edit down later (i.e. compare with at least one other author).

Chosen article:

"Fluid Families: The Role of Children in Custody Arrangements" by Elise L. E. Robinson, Hilde Lindemann Nelson, & James Lindemann Nelson

Comparative author:

"Domestic Subversions and Children's Sexuality" from Race & the Education of Desire by Ann Laura Stoler

The dustjacket review:

The hypothesis put forward by Robinson et al. in their article "Fluid Families" is a valuable addition to the current social discourse on family and childhood, challenging us to return agency to children as self-aware moral agents within the parameters of individual normative competence, and to avoid manipulation of the rubric of childhood to further socio-political ends. It suggests intriguing new possibilities for potential family structures based on individual needs, and encourages public discussion of what exactly families are and what they should be.



Last Updated: Fri Apr 21 2000