The Government of Childhood ? new book launched in DIT

Posted: 5 December, 2014

03 December 2014

A new book on the government of childhood by Dr. Karen Smith was launched by Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, in DIT last week.  Mr. Finlay was welcomed to the new DIT campus in Grangegorman by DIT President Professor Brian Norton, Dr. Kevin Lalor, Head of School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences and Dr. Máire Mhic Mhathúna, Assistant Head of School.


The Government of Childhood: Discourse, Power and Subjectivity was written by DIT lecturer Dr. Karen Smith who is attached to the School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences.The book examines key transitions in the government of childhood in the western world and looks at ‘mutations’ in conceptions of childhood and child-rearing in three key time-periods: between the sixteenth and late eighteenth century; between the late eighteenth century and the mid/late twentieth century and the period from the late twentieth century to the present.‌

Launching the publication, Mr. Finlay discussed the changing attitudes towards children and childhood traced in the book, highlighting the current emphasis on the agentive child while noting the barriers to children’s agency created by adult society.

141203_govt of childhood_launch   

In her remarks the author Dr. Smith noted that historically, and today, the government of childhood has too often centred on efforts to regulate children and parents, with insufficient attention paid to the wider inequalities that impinge on families. She said that 1 in 3 children in Ireland are living in households experiencing deprivation.

Child poverty and deprivation is the theme of Barnardos’ Christmas Appeal which highlights the enormous financial difficulties currently faced by many thousands of Irish families.

Back to Top

  • Prospective Students
  • International Students
  • Incoming Students
  • Current Students
  • Staff
  • Alumni
  • Business & Entrepreneurs
  • Donors
  • Media

  • Connect with DIT

    Home/Contact/Sitemap/A-Z/Help/Cookie & Privacy Statement/

    Member of the European University Association
    © 1998, Dublin Institute of Technology