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Childhood, neo-liberalism and the feminization of childhood

Burman, Erica (2005) Childhood, neo-liberalism and the feminization of childhood. Gender and education, 17 (4). pp. 351-367. ISSN 1360-0516

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Abstract

This paper brings together analyses from childhood and gender studies with macro-economic analysis to offer new perspectives on current educational debates, including the current role of education within broader discussions. Girls' recent (supposed) educational success is situated within economic and cultural contexts to explore how discussions of gender, childhood and development both express and, paradoxically, obscure these. Analysis of popular discourses surrounding children and childhood is used to suggest that the sentimentalized (girl) child has come to represent a new neo-liberal subject, such that contemporary discourses of childhood and feminization typically distract attention from more meaningful structural analyses - that would crucially include further analyses of gender and childhood.

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