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seminar: Dr Angela Davis (Warwick) 'Children of the Dream'?: changing approaches to collective childcare in the Israeli kibbutzim, c 1930-1990

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Location: R0.14 Ramphal building, University of Warwick

Please note new time.

Refreshments served. All are welcome!


While they were relatively small in number, the experiences of children who grew up in the Israeli kibbutzim were the subject of intense global debate. The positive portrayal of communal care in the kibbutzim (particularly as popularized by Bruno Bettelheim’s Children of the Dream, 1969) was used by some psychologists to challenge attachment theory. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, John Bowlby’s theories of maternal attachment, so dominant in the British context in the years after the Second World War, also became one of the leading paradigms in Israel. Attachment theory was employed to challenge the practice of children’s houses in the kibbutzim, with its advocates arguing that living apart from their families was damaging to young children’s mental health. This paper will trace the international flow of research on child development and psychology. Through examining research published about the kibbutzim, it will examine how the transmission of ideas led to changes in practice.

black and white photo of children with teacher in Kibbutz Givat

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