Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children

Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children

by Viviana A. Zelizer
Current price is , Original price is $39.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


In this landmark book, sociologist Viviana Zelizer traces the emergence of the modern child, at once economically "useless" and emotionally "priceless," from the late 1800s to the 1930s. Having established laws removing many children from the marketplace, turn-of-the-century America was discovering new, sentimental criteria to determine a child's monetary worth. The heightened emotional status of children resulted, for example, in the legal justification of children's life insurance policies and in large damages awarded by courts to their parents in the event of death. A vivid account of changing attitudes toward children, this book dramatically illustrates the limits of economic views of life that ignore the pervasive role of social, cultural, emotional, and moral factors in our marketplace world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691034591
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 08/28/1994
Edition description: With a New preface by the author
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 803,887
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Viviana A. Zelizer is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She is the author of Morals and Markets: The Development in Life Insurance in the United States (Columbia).

Table of Contents

Preface (1994)


Introduction 3

1 From Mobs to Memorials: The Sacralization of Child Life 22

2 From Useful to Useless: Moral Conflict Over Child Labor 56

3 From Child Labor to Child Work: Redefining the Economic World of Children 73

4 From a Proper Burial to a Proper Education: The Case of Children's Insurance 113

5 From Wrongful Death to Wrongful Birth: The Changing Legal Evaluation of Children 138

6 From Baby Farms to Black-Market Babies: The Changing Market for Children 169

7 From Useful to Useless and Back to Useful? Emerging Patterns in the Valuation of Children 208

Notes 229

Index 267

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews