Paula S. Fass, a pathbreaker in children’s history and the history of education, turns her attention in Children of a New World to the impact of globalization on children’s lives, both in the United States and on the world stage. Globalization, privatization, the rise of the “work-centered” family, and the triumph of the unregulated marketplace, she argues, are revolutionizing the lives of children today.
Fass begins by considering the role of the school as a fundamental component of social formation, particularly in a nation of immigrants like the United States. She goes on to examine children as both creators of culture and objects of cultural concern in America, evident in the strange contemporary fear of and fascination with child abduction, child murder, and parental kidnapping. Finally, Fass moves beyond the limits of American society and brings historical issues into the present and toward the future, exploring how American historical experience can serve as a guide to contemporary globalization as well as how globalization is altering the experience of American children and redefining childhood.
Clear and scholarly, serious but witty, Children of a New World provides a foundation for future historical investigations while adding to our current understanding of the nature of modern childhood, the role of education for national identity, the crisis of family life, and the influence of American concepts of childhood on the world’s definitions of children's rights. As a new generation comes of age in a global world, it is a vital contribution to the study of childhood and globalization.