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If one understands the term ‘parenting’ to represent a new way of describing the parent–child relationship, it is important to consider the other side of the equation: the child. This entry discusses how the shift to describing child-rearing as ‘parenting’, which has occurred over the past 30 years in Anglo-American culture, reflects changes in the conceptualisation of ‘the child’ but also shapes the context within which children are cared for and affects the way they are treated by their parents and the rest of society.

Parental Determinism

The particular construction of the parent–child relationship evident in the new concept of ‘parenting’ is one in which the parent does not just care for the child during infancy but is assumed to determine the adult the child will ...

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