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Domestize chance or legitimize it through biology at the rhythm of the statural metric childhood

Abstract : Before the figure of the “sexually prohibited child” and that of the “child of possibili-ties” became established in ordinary mobilizations with regard to child-hood, many professionals promoted, between Belgium, France and Italy, the development of height measurement (late 19th and first half of the 20th century). The practice of this body metric in different professional fields related to childhood such as social statis-tics, criminology, paediatrics and psychiatry does not refer to the same issues or ob-jectives. In a process of denaturalization of the child’s body, this article shows the institutional network that takes place around children, in response to the obligation of education made to their parents. It aims to identify the traces of exclusionary logics that ha¬ve been activated regarding the categories of children portrayed as part of the cons¬truction of an inappropriate childhood as a public problem. It then shows the re-defini-tion of the scientific, medical and political logics that are at the heart of the stakes of these childish statistics. It is especially in France that after 1945 a pride emerges in the improvement of the quality of life – of which the increase in size would be the proof of ordinary childhood and of that which has experienced interna-tional travel.
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Simona Tersigni. Domestize chance or legitimize it through biology at the rhythm of the statural metric childhood. Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, 2019, Mesurer les corps pour normer les temps de vie, pp.23-44. ⟨10.4000/rsa.3114⟩. ⟨hal-02365592⟩

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