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Religion and the Authority in American Parenting

Religion and the Authority in American Parenting

Chapter:
(p.141) 7 Religion and the Authority in American Parenting
Source:
Consuming Religion
Author(s):
Kathryn Lofton
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226482125.003.0008

This chapter reimagines the history of parenting as a subject for the study of religion. Through a schematic historical description of parenting in the United States, it tracks the expanded responsibilities and increased social expectations for parents in the formation of child identity. Focusing on the concept of parental authority, it argues that the relationship of authority between parent and child is an important document of religious history in a secular age, and encourages future scholars to explore parenting habits, prescriptions, and admonitions as an archive for religious studies.

Keywords:   parenting, lactivism, authority, democracy, parenting manuals, G. Stanley Hall, Benjamin Spock, service economy, Michel Foucault, scientia parentis

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