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Challenging the Politics of Early InterventionWho's 'saving' Children and Why$
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Val Gillies, Rosalind Edwards, and Nicola Horsley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324096

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324096.001.0001

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Rescuing the infant brain

Rescuing the infant brain

(p.41) Three Rescuing the infant brain
Challenging the Politics of Early Intervention

Val Gillies

Rosalind Edwards

Nicola Horsley

Policy Press

This chapter turns to the latest diagnosis of the problem that early intervention aims to address, focusing on the quality of parenting and infant brain development. It explores how brain claims came to define and propel to the fore early intervention in how mothers bring up their children as a logical expression of social investment models of social policy. The chapter also looks at the use and misuse of developmental neuroscience and of evidence for the early years being formative, to open to question the detail of the five key biologised motifs — critical periods, maternal attunement, synaptic density, cortisol and the prefrontal cortex — that are mobilised to make the case for intervention in the parenting of young, disadvantaged and marginalised mothers.

Keywords:   early intervention, parenting, infant brain development, mothers, social policy, developmental neuroscience, marginalised mothers, synaptic density, cortisol

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