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Decolonizing ChildhoodsFrom Exclusion to Dignity$
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Manfred Liebel

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447356400

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447356400.001.0001

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Beyond paternalism: Plea for the de-paternalization of children’s protection and participation

Beyond paternalism: Plea for the de-paternalization of children’s protection and participation

Chapter:
(p.161) 8 Beyond paternalism: Plea for the de-paternalization of children’s protection and participation
Source:
Decolonizing Childhoods
Author(s):

Manfred Liebel

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447356400.003.0009

When aiming at characterizing the quasi-colonial or adultist relationship between adults and children, the concept of paternalism is often applied. The term is used in different ways, and this chapter intends not only to present it, but also to determine to what extent it is really apt to analyse, qualify and design the relationships between adults and children in different social and cultural contexts. To this end, it places particular emphasis on issues of child protection and child participation. First, the chapter explains the concept of paternalism and questions the arguments with which the so-called pedagogical paternalism or soft paternalism is usually justified. Secondly, it analyses to what extent the rights of children and certain variants of paternalism can be compatible or contradictory. Then the chapter explains with regard to several examples of child protection and child participation, how they are marked by paternalist thought patterns and how these can be overcome.

Keywords:   paternalism, adultism, pedagogical paternalism, soft paternalism, child protection, child participation

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