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Comprehensive Child Marriage Research Library

Victim, Perpetrator, or What Else?: Generational and Gender Perspectives on Children, Youth, and Violence


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Bühler-Niederberger, Doris; Alberth, Lars (Editors)

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Students Against Child Marriage's Object Summary:

The perspectives of children as victims of violence or as offenders are often ignored in sociological research. This book contains 10 essays on a variety of phenomena around the world with an eye towards how violence impacts children’s agency and can limit the recognition of children and adolescents as members of society. The book also looks at how societies react to situations in which children are victims or perpetrators of violence and how violence and the reaction to violence is gendered. Case studies are explored in England, Australia, Russia, Ethiopia, India, Kyrgyzstan, and the United States. Topics explored include child protection systems, legal definitions of domestic homicide, criminal justice systems, sexual violence, and child marriage specifically in a US context.

Article Abstract (If Available):

Children, while being the most victimized group in society, rarely become a topic of sociological research, neither as victims nor as perpetrators. The sociological discussion on power and violence happens beyond generation and in many respects also beyond gender aspects that are inseparably linked to generational violence. This is a severe omission when the extent of violence in a society needs to be understood, as well as the structures and processes perpetuating violence or opposing its abolition. It is also a serious obstacle when understanding the position of children and exploring the social meaning of childhood. This volume addresses this blind spot in sociology. It does so by mapping the ways that children and young people are considered victims or perpetrators by their societies and consequently the ways that their societies react. The chapters analyse a variety of phenomena in different countries of the Global North and South. All of these phenomena may be considered to include acts of violence toward children and adolescents, or those committed by them. Thus, violence is addressed as one of the major building blocks of the scope and qualities of children’s agency, limiting the social recognition of their rights as members of their respective societies. With a global reach and cutting-edge research, this book will prove an invaluable text for researchers and leaders in the fields of comparative childhood research and sociology of violence alike.

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