Science and Moral Life   /   Spring 2013   /    Book Reviews

Markella Rutherford’s Adult Supervision Required: Private Freedom and Public Constraints for Parents and Children

Stephanie Muravchik

In a compelling new book, Markella B. Rutherford argues that over the twentieth century A m e r i c a n   f a m i l i e s   g a i n e d freedom at home, but lost freedom outside of it. Children have greater private autonomy and leeway to express them- selves, but their independence outside the home has been sharply curtailed. Meanwhile, parents have greater say in raising their children in ways that best fit their families, but they also face increased super- vision by government agen- cies tasked with ensuring child safety. Rutherford bases this argument on observations of parent support groups as well as interviews with parents and child-oriented professionals, like teachers and social workers. She  also  sur veys  parenting advice in magazines over the last century.

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