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Individualism and Early Childhood in the U.S.: How Culture and Tradition Have Impeded Evidence-Based Reforms

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Authors
Woodhouse, Barbara Bennett
Issue Date
2008
Publisher
BK 21 law
Citation
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.8 No.1, pp. 135-160
Abstract
“Individualism”—efined as a belief in the primary importance of the individual and the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence—s deeply rooted in United States tradition and culture. Its opposite (dependence or collectivity) is disparaged and rejected, as can be seen by the stigma attached to “socialism,” “welfare,” or other programs seen as government “handouts.” This paper argues that individualism is a myth that has impeded the development of early childhood policy, resulting in a gap between what we know children need and what we provide for them. As a result, the U.S. ranks last or near to last on measures of child well-being in comparison with peer nations. The author argues that the U.S. should develop public programs such as paid parental leave, and access to subsidized early childhood care and education (termed “educare”), recognizing a collective stake in young children’s needs for both nurture and education.
ISSN
1598-1681
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/85145
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 08 Number 1/2 (2008)
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