Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500 (Studies in Modern History)

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9780582238534: Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500 (Studies in Modern History)

An examination of childhood in Western society since 1550 which also covers childhood in ancient and medieval Europe and the historiography of childhood. Topics from 1500 cover family, work and school as well as child labour, philanthropy, cruelty to children and childhood in the 20th century.

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From the Back Cover:

¿a most elegant survey of ideas about childhood and of children¿s lives in modern western society¿ a stimulating yet accessible analysis of a p ar t of human experience so difficult for the historian to uncover.

Lynn Abrams , Professor of Gender History, University of Glasgow

 

¿necessary reading for those seeking a fuller understanding of modern childhood.

John Stew ar t , Principal Lecturer in History, Oxford Brookes University

Of the first edition:

¿an excellent and accessible st ar ting point.

Anthony Fletcher, University of London

 

Any reader in se ar ch of a cle ar , well-written, and comprehensive account of the history of children and childhood could ask for nothing better.

Victor Slater, Dep ar tment of History, Louisiana State University

 

 

Children and Childhood investigates the relationship between ideas about childhood and the actual experience of being a child, assessing how it has changed over a span of five hundred years. Hugh Cunningham tells an engaging story of the development of ideas about childhood from the Renaissance to the present, including Locke, Rousseau, Wordsworth and Freud, revealing considerable differences in the way western societies have understood and valued childhood over time. His survey of parent/child relationships uncovers evidence of parental love, care and, in the frequent cases of child death, grief throughout the period, concluding that there was as much continuity as change in the actual relations of children and adults across these five centuries.

 

In this fully updated second edition of his definitive text, Cunningham incorporates the latest research findings and outlines recent changes in the field, substantially revising and adding to the account of childhood in the twentieth century. The book also now includes extended discussion of the history of cruelty to children, and of the lives of children who through orphanage, abandonment, homelessness or crime came under the care of the institutions set up by voluntary organisations or the state. A new plate section links images of children to ideas and policies about childhood.

The only book in English to bring the history of childhood up to the present, Children and Childhood is essential reading for those studying the history of childhood, as well as an excellent background for those involved in policy-making today or for anyone wanting a historical context for modern worries about childhood.

Hugh Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Kent.

 

About the Author:

Hugh Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Kent.

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