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Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children


reviewed by Charles E. Strickland - 1986

coverTitle: Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children
Author(s): Viviana A. Zelizer
Publisher: Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA
ISBN: 0691034591, Pages: 277, Year: 1994
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In Pricing the Priceless Child, Viviana Zelizer has fired a salvo in the continuing battle over family life in America, but she has also made a valuable contribution to the history of American childhood. In her role on the ideological barricades, the Barnard sociologist sides with those, like John Holt, who call for an end to the protected status of children.1 Zelizer, in explicit opposition to books like Marie Winn’s Children without Childhood2 (which she charges with nostalgia), believes, for example, that the Victorian insistence on removing children from the labor force may have gone too far. Whereas historians like Walter Trattner tended to see defenders of child labor as greedy capitalists or heartless parents, Zelizer sees them as persons who simply “objected to a legal requirement of keeping children useless.”3 Advocates of laws banning child labor, whom Trattner saw as humanitarian reformers, become, in Zelizer’s account, persons intent on... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 88 Number 2, 1986, p. 281-282
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 654, Date Accessed: 10/15/2019 8:01:34 AM

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