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NCJ Number: 152577 Find in a Library
Title: Child Neglect and "Unfit" Mothers: Child Savers in the Progressive Era and Today
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:(1994)  Pages:97-129
Author(s): R G Kasinsky
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 33
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This historical analysis compares the movement against child abuse and neglect during the Progressive Era from 1890 to the 1920's and the current campaign against pregnant women who use drugs.
Abstract: The discussion notes that the government's reactions during both periods have major similarities. The child savers in both historical era have imposed their class, ethnic, and racial biases upon poor, immigrant, and black women. These child savers imposed a gender ideology of maternal care on mothers, labeling those mothers who did not conform to their cultural ideal as being unfit mothers in need of government control. In the modern era, physicians collude with prosecutors and social workers to prosecute and medicalize pregnant mothers who use drugs through the use of mandatory reporting laws together with drug test. The result is often the removal of children from their homes. This historical comparison provides insights into how processes of engendering government power have taken power from mothers. Notes and 94 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Child abuse situation remedies; Criminal justice system policy; Pregnant drug abusers
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