Call For Submission - The rise of developmental science: Debates on health and humanity. Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine
Social Science & Medicine is soliciting papers for a Special Interdisciplinary Issue on the unique challenges arising in the creation of child/adolescent developmental expertise throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Since the Enlightenment, the child’s developmental journey to adulthood has served as a prism for philosophical and scientific formulations of what it means to be healthy, normal, and human. Relative to other subfields in psychiatry and psychology, however, the focus on child/adolescent development and mental illness is both new and increasingly contested. As clinicians begin to work with an ever younger patient-population, critics from both outside and within relevant fields have begun sounding warning bells, since much of the evidence about early intervention, “normal/abnormal” development and treatment is uncertain and prone to undue pathologisation. Thus, experts are also calling for increased interdisciplinarity to better account for the unpredictability of development and the socio-cultural, economic, and biological heterogeneity in which normal/abnormal development and mental illness unfold.
Taking child/adolescent developmental expertise as an object of socio-cultural analysis, this special issue aims to explore how normative and marginal trends in this scientific subfield evolve in diverse socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts. The call builds on an existing set of manuscripts drawn from a workshop co-sponsored by Brunel University and the Royal Anthropological Institute entitled “The Rise of Child Science and Psy-expertise” (London, May 29-30, 2012).(i) We welcome submissions that consider the institutionalized worlds of science, medicine and education alongside the everyday lives of children and youth from historical and/or contemporary perspectives. Papers should be both empirically-based and theoretically informed. As we aim to influence core practices in science, medicine and policy, authors are also invited, though not required, to consider how the critical study of expert knowledge – and the diversity that exists therein -- can inform constructive debate on how best to produce and apply this knowledge.
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