Sociological Forum

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 3–23 | Cite as

ESS presidential address, 1995—invisible differences: On the management of children in postindustrial society

  • Gaye Tuchman


Drawing on data gathered through qualitative techniques, I suggest that the management of problems faced by children with a specific invisible neurological difference, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, teaches us about problematic areas of postindustrial society. I pay particular attention to how members of the children's and parents' separate moral universes assign stigma and to such behavioral-management techniques as patterned scheduling and “super-momming.” The problematic areas of contemporary life that I identify include the call for social conformity in the face of an ostensible demand for flexible social arrangements.

Key words

attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder invisible difference behavioral-management techniques postindustrial society stigma 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaye Tuchman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, U-68University of ConnecticutStorrs

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