This paper will consider the use of social quality as an analytical tool for the study of social policy, with special emphasis on the social quality of children placed within the framework of family policy. The paper’s main focus is on the relationship between parents and children as expressed through family policy. Two central themes are addressed. The first concerns the expectations from the relationship of parents and children as expressed through family policy, and how these policies enhance the social quality of children. The second theme asks the question whether social quality is a useful tool for policy analysis, and is based on a case study analysing a European family policy document.
The Place of Children in Family Policy
Un héritage explosif
In the policy of exiting violence initiated in Algeria, after the ‘black decade’ of the 1990s, children born and raised in the maquis pose a thorny problem. Rediscovered in town, with their parents, under the Reconciliation Act, the case of these children aged 10 years and older continues to pose serious questions. Despite the remarkable progress made by the policy of reconciliation, the case of these ‘children without legal existence’ or ‘children of unknown identity’ seems to have been at least neglected. The record of these children is a sort of blind spot, and their case poses a number of problems, starting with their identification and the establishment of their filiations. Their difficult reintegration into a society ill prepared to integrate them could constitute a sort of time bomb.
The Civilizing Project in the Danish Kindergarten
Karen Fog Olwig
The increasing institutionalization of childhood in Western societies has generated concern in the social sciences regarding the disciplinary and regulating regimes of institutions and their presumed constraints on children's social interaction. This article argues that institutions for children can also enable such social interaction. Drawing on Norbert Elias's proposal that child rearing entails a civilizing project, this article contends that being 'not-yet-civilized' enables children to draw on a wide range of emotions and bodily expressions that are unavailable to adults. Through an analysis of life stories narrated by Danish youths, it is shown that common grounds of interaction were established in early childhood, allowing them to turn this adultconstructed institution into a place of their own where they could develop a sense of sociality.
Revealing Cultures of Children's Agentic and Imaginative Mobilities through Emil and the Detectives
The concept of “children's independent mobility,” which originates in a study carried out between 1971 and 1990, underpins much of the research on children's mobilities. The study used particular criteria, based on parental determination of children's abilities and freedoms, to construct a notion of independence. This article contributes to previous work challenging the assumptions underlying this conceptualization of independence and suggests a rethinking of children's mobilities to more firmly incorporate children's agency and imagination. It does so first by critically reviewing existing scholarship and second by engaging with an example of a fictional story, Emil and the Detectives, which itself sets out to privilege both of these key aspects of children's mobilities.
Institutionalized Visions for a Good Life in Danish Day-care Centres
Using the case of early childcare institutions in contemporary Denmark, the aim of the article is to show that welfare entails visions of living that are made manifest through the requirements of everyday institutional practices. The main argument is that welfare institutions are designed not only to take care of people's basic needs but also to enable them to fare well in accordance with the dominant norms of society. This is particularly evident in the case of children. Children are objects of intense normative attention and are invested in as no other social group in order to ensure their enculturation. Therefore, studying the collective investments in children, for example by paying attention to the institutional arrangements set up for them, offers insight into dominant cultural priorities and hoped-for outcomes.
Fresh Perspectives on Protracted Crisis in Lebanon
Erik van Ommering
Based on child-oriented, ethnographic research in Lebanese school communities, this article offers an alternative approach to understanding the multitude of conflicts affecting Lebanon. It highlights how young Lebanese engage with corollaries of conflict in their everyday lives and simultaneously points to sources of security and resilience that children employ to confront adverse conditions. These resources, which are located in homes, schools, the environment and the ways in which young people engage their surroundings, all face unique conflict-induced pressures and dynamics. Approaching children in their generational and political contexts can help us identify and strengthen their capacities to confront, rather than reinforce, adverse conditions. In turn, this may offer a more sustainable way of promoting peace in conflict-affected societies.
From Teaching to Competing
This article analyzes the changes in drama series in the first five decades (1966–2016) of Israeli children’s television. Based on interviews with 27 central producers, this cultural-historical study seeks to explain the significance attributed to children’s drama over the years. Early children’s drama series in Israel were instructional or educational, but they also sought to control the representation of childhood under the direct supervision of the state. The neo-liberal privatization process in Israeli society led to the creation of locally produced, Hebrew-speaking daily dramas on private channels for children. In the multiscreen environment created by the age of multichannel television and digital media, original Israeli daily drama shows functioned as a central branding tool for children’s channels. The article contends that these shows became one of the producers’ key answers to the changes in children’s viewing habits and, more particularly, linear television’s strategy for success in a world of multiple online screens.
This article analyzes the Gulag memoirs of four women political prisoners—Olga Adamova-Sliozberg, Liudmila Miklashevskaya, Nadezhda Joffe, and Valentina Grigorievna levleva-Pavlenko—to examine the interplay of motherhood and survival. Each was a mother of small children sentenced to forced labor camps in the northern polar regions of the Soviet Union. Motherhood played a complex role in their survival. The rupture in family relations, particularly the separation from their children, magnified the psychological and emotional stress of their incarceration. Yet, being a mother in the camps provided a compelling motivation to stay alive. It helped them to sustain a sense of normalcy by connecting them to their former lives and to the family unit that represented stability and sustenance amid the bleakness of their Gulag existence.
A European Research Network Exploring the Life Histories of a Hidden Population
Kimberley Anderson and Sophie Roupetz
Through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the research and training network Children Born of War (CHIBOW) seeks to explore the lives of children born to local mothers and fathered by enemy soldiers, occupying forces, and locally stationed and peacekeeping forces during conflicts of the past one hundred years. Born both through mutually consenting “love relationships” and from rape, children born of war are a hidden population, relatively understudied and seldom spoken about in public spheres. Fifteen early career researchers at eleven academic institutes across Europe will address this topic from a multidisciplinary perspective. This training network will act as a platform to share the life stories of people affected by war in the most profound ways and to alleviate some of the silence surrounding their experiences.
The Jewish Family in Sholem Aleichem and Vladimir Jabotinsky
Michael R. Katz
Both Sholem Aleichem's collection of stories Tevye the Dairyman and Vladimir Jabotinsky's novel The Five take as their main subject what Tevye frequently refers to as 'today's children': children growing up in a world of transition, where customs and morals are subject to external and internal pressures, and the old world is evolving and trying to adjust to confusing aspects of 'modernity'. The authors explore this theme within the context of the Jewish family: Tevye lives in the village of Anatevka in central Ukraine, and Jabotinsky's Milgroms live in Odessa on the shores of the Black Sea. The article examines the fates of two sets of children and compares the authors' views on the complex issues of modernity and assimilation. As traditions weakened, there was a significant shift in power and decision-making from parents to children. The eternal conflict of generations took on dramatic form as children violated the most sacred conventions of their parents' moral universe. In addition, these two extraordinary books succeed as original artistic expressions of the authors' personal journeys, documenting their own paths to ideological maturity: the subtitle of each could well be one and the same, namely: 'How and why I became a Zionist'.