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Criminalizing Children


  • Page extent: 316 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9781845656676)

Incarceration of children is rising rapidly throughout of Australia, with indigenous children most at risk of imprisonment. Indigenous and non-indigenous children have been subject to detention in both welfare and justice systems in Australian states and territories since colonization. Countless governments and human rights enquiries have attempted to address the problem of the increasing criminalization of children, with little success. David McCallum traces the history of 'problem children' over several decades, demonstrating that the categories of neglected and offending children are both linked to similar kinds of governing. Institutions and encampments have historically played a significant role in contributing to the social problems of today. This book also takes a theoretical perspective, tracking parallel developments within the human sciences of childhood and theories of race. Applying a social theoretical analysis of these events and the changing rationalities of governing, McCallum challenges our assumptions about how law and governance of children leads to their criminalization and incarceration.

• Documents achievements in the history of human sciences, appealing to those interested in sociology and psychology • Provides a thorough comparison of the treatment of indigenous and non-indigenous children • Details historical and political developments to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the existing situation


Foreword: criminalizing children. Histories of welfare and the state in Australia; 1. Child welfare and the Australian state: an introduction; 2. Knowing the 'neglected' aboriginal child; 3. Neglected and criminal children; 4. Science, race and separations; 5. Unstable categories: children in welfare and justice in the early twentieth century; 6. The mission station as a correctional institution; 7. From mental defectives to the psychology of the family; 8. The discovery of the Aboriginal child; 9. Government and family.

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