9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Institutions and Everyday Life Building II, C6.02

Categorization and classification of children: the orphan

The research question at stake relates largely to the institutional categorization and classification of orphan children: do we learn something specific when we look closely at the moving and muting category of orphan over a historical period of time. If so, what? In this communication, I shall examine, firstly, the issues relating to categorization and classification of neglected children, by focusing on orphans, as the epitomized form of uncared for children. Secondly, I shall investigate the characteristics of the children - their family?s condition and their social environment network - assigned to a Canadian Industrial School in Québec city headed by a religious order between 1870 and 1950. Thirdly, some sociological perspectives underpinning child negligence will be examined and problematized; in XIX and XX c. classificatory mania, one can observe a painstaking form of monitoring these children by classifying them into categories as a first stage of their care. This incursion into the historical sociology of child carelessness will provide adequate a basis to put the actual debate relating, for instance, to Aids orphans in its socio-historical perspective.