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Growing Up

The History of Childhood in Global Context

Peter N. Stearns

Publication Year: 2005

Growing Up combines two flourishing historical fields-the history of childhood and world history-to address the question of how much of childhood is natural and how much is historically determined. The first lecture gauges the impact of the development of agriculture, civilization, and religion upon the premodern experience of childhood. The second lecture contrasts modern perspectives on childhood with more traditional ones before investigating how and why modern perspectives developed and spread. These lectures clearly demonstrate that the transformation of childhood is both recent and sweeping.

Published by: Baylor University Press

front matter

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pp. 2-4

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Lecture 1

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pp. 5-41

Childhood in world history requires a general introduction, but there is risk of too much abstraction early on: so first, a few vignettes, all drawn at least in part from childhood in the agricultural period of the human...

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Lecture 2

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pp. 42-68

A few initial vignettes on modern childhood and youth. Every modern society, and ultimately the world as a whole, has experienced vigorous debates about the justifiability of children’s work, and about social versus familial rights to determine this work. Tradition and a great deal of ongoing need...

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About the Author

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pp. 69-

PETER STEARNS received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Editor of the Journal of Social History, he is also a prolific author, having recently published The Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self-Control in Modern America; Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in Western Society; Gender...


E-ISBN-13: 9781602580459
E-ISBN-10: 1602580456
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792287
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792287

Page Count: 72
Publication Year: 2005

Edition: 1st
Series Title: Edmondson Lecture Series