Cover of: For your own good | Alice Miller

About the Book

Miller proposed here that German traumatic childrearing produced heroin addict Christiane F., serial killer of children Jürgen Bartsch and dictator Adolf Hitler. Children learn to accept their parents' often abusive behaviour against themselves as being "for their own good." In the case of Hitler, it led to displacement against the Jews and other minority groups. For Miller, the traditional pedagogic process was manipulative, resulting in grown-up adults deferring excessively to authorities, even to tyrannical leaders or dictators, like Hitler. Miller even argued for abandoning the term "pedagogy" in favor of the word "support," something akin to what psychohistorians call the helping mode of parenting.

In the Poisonous Pedagogy section of the book, Miller does a thorough survey of 19th century child-rearing literature in the book, citing texts which recommend practices such as exposing children to dead bodies in order to teach them about the sexual functions of human anatomy (45–46), resisting the temptation to comfort screaming infants (41–43), and beating children who haven't committed any specific offense as a kind of conditioning would help them to understand their own evil and fallen nature.

The key element that Miller elucidated in this book was the understanding of why the German nation, the "good Germans," were compliant with Hitler's abusive regime, which Miller asserted was a direct result of how the society in general treated its children. She raised fundamental questions about current, worldwide child-rearing practices and issued a stern warning.

Edition Notes

Bibliography: p. 281-284.
Translation of: Am Anfang war Erziehung.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
649/.1
Library of Congress
HQ769 .M531613 1983

The Physical Object

Pagination
xvii, 284 p. ;
Number of pages
284

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL3503861M
Internet Archive
foryourowngoodhi00mill
ISBN 10
0374157502
LC Control Number
82024249
Library Thing
102471
Goodreads
1707793
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July 30, 2014 Edited by ImportBot import new book
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April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Initial record created, from Scriblio MARC record.