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Child Called It

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Introduction

Book Review How is child abuse explained? This paper will help explain characteristics associated with child abuse and that applied to the books A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy. The main points that will be discussed are conflict theory, symbolic interaction theory, normalizing abuse, and the Power and Control diagram. The history of abuse is broken up into three period, indifference, discovery, and preoccupation. In the indifference period animals had more protection than children. Society today is in the preoccupation period and reporting child abuse laws have been in place since the 1960's. The book A Child Called "It" starts out tell the end of the horrific journey that David Pelzer had to endure during his mother's abuse. One morning at school David was examined by the school nurse for signs of abuse, as she did many times before. This particular morning the school nurse decides that the abuse has to stop and must be reported to the authorities. Form that day on David was free from his Mother's abuse. The earliest memories of is family are very happy, even referring to them as the "Brady Bunch." But, this home would soon turn into a "madhouse." When Pelzer's mother began to have alcohol problem, the abuse started. ...read more.

Middle

When the conflict theory is applied to the family there is the power structure between parents and children. Within is theory there are the sources of power which are legitimacy, money, love, and physical coercion. The source of power mainly used in A Child Called "It" is physical coercion or child abuse. An example of this is when David's mother or his brothers beat him to gain power over him. But, in The Lost Boy love is the main source of power. In this book, the love for Mrs. Gold helped influence him in the court case against his mother. The symbolic interaction theory states that people learn the meaning of things through social interaction. Within this theory there are two main components the self-fulfilling prophecy and the looking-glass self concept. The self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when people act in a manner consistent with the expectations of others. When David sits down in the basement and waits for his mother to order him upstairs, he knows to do his morning chores, and meet her expectations. His mother told lies to other people to make them believe he was a bad boy. "Mother is clever enough to convince the principle that David is just a problem child." ...read more.

Conclusion

I lived in a different world. I didn't even deserve a glance at the good life" His mother's emotional abuse scared him for a long time. David received a phone call from Mother when was about to be shipped off to the Air Force. She told him that she wanted nothing but the best for him. "But in my heart I knew that Mother was just toying with my emotions. For over 18 years, I wanted something I knew I would never receive- Mom's love". He realized that she would never change. After sticking up for David a few times his father finally gave up fighting for him, David knew his "Mother now had complete control over everybody in the household. There are many ways to explain characteristics associated with child abuse. One is how the books A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy are applied to help explain the characteristics of child abuse. When the conflict theory is applied to the family there is the power structure between parents and children. Within symbolic interaction theory there are two main components the self-fulfilling prophecy and the looking-glass self concept. Also shows the effect of the normalization of abuse. The Power and Control diagram is one of the main tools used to better explain patterns of abusive behaviors. Child abuse has been around for many years and society now knows more about child abuse then ever before. ...read more.

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