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Recent revelations of child abuse in Britain have highlighted the need to understand the historical background to current attitudes towards child health and welfare. In the Name of the Child explores a variety of professional, social, political, and cultural constructions of the child in the crucial decades surrounding the First World War when modern notions of "the child" were elaborated and widely institutionalized.
In specially commissioned essays, the contributors describe how medical and welfare initiatives in the name of the child were shaped and how changes in medical and welfare provision were closely allied to political and ideological interests. Chapters explore the medical invasion of schools, the use of children for medical experiments in American orphanages, how medical intervention set new priorities in health care, and the construction of child abuse prior to 1914.
In the Name of the Child clearly shows how moral, political, class, andgender interests were imposed on children. The contributors bridge the gap between traditional histories of medicine and welfare and the social, intellectual, and cultural history of childhood, and lay the foundation for understanding contemporary conflicts and concerns about the health and welfare of children.