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What do you see as paradoxical about the U.S. being a neontocracy?It is in reference to...

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alicejunion | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 4, 2012 at 1:23 PM via web

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What do you see as paradoxical about the U.S. being a neontocracy?

It is in reference to the book The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings by David Lancy.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 4, 2012 at 10:41 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the paradox that Lancy brings out is the idea that the neontocracy that is such a part of America is what precisely prevents American parents from voicing a universal protection for the rights of children all over the world.  American parents are so consumed with their children, providing every material element for them, that it blinds them from what is happening to children like their own all over the world.  The central image of this is the child who is enslaved in the Ivory Coast, abused and beaten while picking cocoa beans for the chocolate enjoyed by an obese Los Angeles child living in affluence helps bring this condition to light.  Interntional organizations such as the International Labor Organization attempt to enforce rules that prevent children from being used in slave and child labor situations with little success.  American parents who would voice outrage if their children were used in such a manner remain silent when other nation's children are used in a manner to provide their own children with the goods and services so coveted.  This becomes the paradox that a supposedly universal love and reverence for childhood is stunted at the line of the border or even at the line of one's own property.

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