Child, nation, race and empire: Child rescue discourse, England, Canada and Australia, 1850-1915

Child, nation, race and empire: Child rescue discourse, England, Canada and Australia, 1850-1915

by Margot Hillel, Shurlee Swain


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Child, nation, race and empire is an innovative, inter-disciplinary, cross cultural study that contributes to understandings of both contemporary child welfare practices and the complex dynamics of empire.

It analyses the construction and transmission of nineteenth-century British child rescue ideology. Locating the origins of contemporary practice in the publications of the prominent English Child rescuers, Dr Barnardo, Thomas Bowman Stephenson, Benjamin Waugh, Edward de Montjoie Rudolf and their colonial disciples and literature written for children, it shows how the vulnerable body of the child at risk came to be reconstituted as central to the survival of nation, race and empire.

Yet, as the shocking testimony before the many official enquiries into the past treatment of children in out-of-home ‘care’ held in Britain, Ireland, Australia and Canada make clear, there was no guarantee that the rescued child would be protected from further harm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719078941
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 09/15/2010
Series: Studies in Imperialism
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Margot Hillel is a Professor and Head of School at Australian Catholic University. Shurlee Swain is a Professor at Australian Catholic University and a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of abbreviations
1. The child as citizen
2. The gospel of child rescue
3. The body of the child
4. The body of the nation
5. The salvation of the race
6. The salvation of the empire
7. A new orthodoxy in child protection practice
8. Lost, stolen or forgotten: the legacy of the survivors

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