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Anthropology of Childhood and Youth

International and Historical Perspectives

Geoffrey Vitale

In Anthropology of Childhood and Youth, author Geoffrey Vitale shows the ways in which people understand, raise, and educate children and youth differently from century to century and from country to country according to the culture, lifestyle, politics, and economics of their place of origin. He also introduces the reader to the manner in which professionals relate to these matters, with a focus on an anthropological perspective.

Vitale discusses similar problems and matters for inquiry a thousand years apart, and separated by oceans. The adoption or abandonment of children, for instance, created problems of inheritance, sexual relationship, and family support and integration in Ancient Greece, just as it does today in contemporary Japan. The author therefore, proposes a flexible tour of human society, intended essentially to introduce the reader to points of view, strategies, and approaches that go beyond the purely domestic, both in place and time—which may introduce new ideas and present new theories and diverse understandings.

Anthropology of Childhood and Youth establishes the work of a wide range of specialists and familiarizes readers both with their skills and their writings.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 322Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-9216-0 • Hardback • July 2014 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-9862-9 • Paperback • April 2016 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-9217-7 • eBook • July 2014 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
Geoffrey Vitale is a former professor at the University of Quebec.
Chapter 1: The Ages of Man
Chapter 2: Infanticide and Abandonment
Chapter 3: Adoption and Oblation
Chapter 4: Protecting Children: Foundling Hospitals and Orphanages
Chapter 5: Education: Origins and Development
Chapter 6: Education: Demographics and Dropouts
Chapter 7: Child Trafficking
Anthropology of Childhood and Youth: International and Historical Perspectives is a sweeping study of childhood across time and space. Geoffrey Vitale, while being attentive to scholarly discussions about the historicity of categories of childhood and youth, manages to provide a comprehensive look at how notions of childhood have transformed children's lives from pre-modern times through our own contemporary moment. The volume will be indispensable to any course on the history of global childhood.
Rebecca Friedman, Florida International University

Geoffrey Vitale’s comprehensive history contributes importantly to an understanding of attitudes and actions toward waifs, orphans, slaves, dropouts, and other abandoned, protected, educated, exploited, and abused young people from the ancient world to the global society. Both informative and enlightening, Vitale’s comparative analysis will be indispensable to Childhood Studies scholars.

Miriam Forman-Brunell, University of Missouri - Kansas City

Anthropology of Childhood and Youth: International and Historical Perspectives is a wide-ranging book, examining the process of growing up in many places throughout history. It is an exceptional resource to understand the complexity – and often futility – of trying to make generalizations about children’s place across time and between countries. The book is a must-have for anyone interested in researching the topic of childhood in world-historical perspective.
Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University