Children and the Politics of Cultural Belonging

Children and the Politics of Cultural Belonging

by Alice Hearst


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Conversations about multiculturalism rarely consider the position of children, who are presumptively nested in families and communities. Yet providing care for children who are unanchored from their birth families raises questions central to multicultural concerns, as they frequently find themselves moved from communities of origin through adoption or foster care, which deeply affects marginalized communities. This book explores the debate over communal and cultural belonging in three distinct contexts: domestic transracial adoptions of non-American Indian children, the scope of tribal authority over American Indian children, and cultural and communal belonging for transnationally adopted children. Understanding how children "belong" to families and communities requires hard thinking about the extent to which cultural or communal belonging matters for children and communities, who should have authority to inculcate racial and cultural awareness and under what terms, and, finally, the degree to which children should be expected to adopt and carry forward racial or cultural identities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107675735
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Dr Alice Hearst is an Associate Professor at the Smith College Department of Government. In addition to teaching public law at Smith College, she has been a visiting or adjunct professor at Cornell University Law School and the University of Utah Law School. Her research interests focus on state regulation of the family. She has published essays in the Law and Society Review and the Journal for the History of Childhood and Youth (for which she is the contemporary issues editor).

Table of Contents

1. Children, law, and belonging; 2. Community, identity, and the importance of belonging; 3. Rainbow dreams and domestic transracial adoption; 4. Reclaiming the diaspora: American Indian children; 5. Transnational adoption in a shifting world; 6. Conclusion.

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