Biologising parenting: neuroscience discourse, English social and public health policy and understandings of the child

Lowe, Pam K. and Lee, Ellie J. and Macvarish, Jan (2015) Biologising parenting: neuroscience discourse, English social and public health policy and understandings of the child. Sociology of Health & Illness, . ISSN 0141-9889. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12223) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/1467-9566.12223

Abstract

In recent years, claims about children's developing brains have become central to the formation of child health and welfare policies in England. While these policies assert that they are based on neuro-scientific discoveries, their relationship to neuroscience itself has been debated. However, what is clear is that they portray a particular understanding of children and childhood, one that is marked by a lack of acknowledgment of child personhood. Using an analysis of key government-commissioned reports and additional advocacy documents, this article illustrates the ways that the mind of the child is reduced to the brain, and this brain comes to represent the child. It is argued that a highly reductionist and limiting construction of the child is produced, alongside the idea that parenting is the main factor in child development. It is concluded that this focus on children's brains, with its accompanying deterministic perspective on parenting, overlooks children's embodied lives and this has implications for the design of children's health and welfare services.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: neuroscience;parenting;policy analysis;child development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ755 Popular works. Guidebook for parents > HQ755.8 Parents. Parenthood
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2015 16:15 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2015 16:15 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/47127 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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