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Narcissistic Parenting in an Insecure WorldA History of Parenting Culture 1920s to Present$
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Harry Hendrick

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322559

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322559.001.0001

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Social science and American liberalism

Social science and American liberalism

(p.169) Five Social science and American liberalism
Narcissistic Parenting in an Insecure World

Harry Hendrick

Policy Press

The chapter begins by surveying the social, economic and political developments that led to the decline of American liberalism in the 1960s in the face of a conservative revival. It argues that, largely under the influence of the New Left, feminism, and identity politics, one response of American liberalism was to reconfigure classical liberal individualism. A principal feature of this process was the creation by psychologists of an alternative parenting 'style' to the so-called 'permissiveness' (and individualism) of the Spock years. In explaining this transition, the chapter discusses the interrelationships between the collapse of liberalism, the reaction against authority, and the emergence of the 'new behaviorism'. It argues that these were instrumental in the creation and popularization of an alternative to the alleged failure of 'permissive' parenting (which was held to have weakened liberalism), namely that of psychologist Diana Baumrind's 'authoritative' style, which created a contractual 'interdependence' between parents and children, thereby stigmatizing an 'unconditional' approach to child rearing.

Keywords:   Diana Baumrind, new behaviorism, authoritative, liberalism, individualism

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