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A Historical Sociology of Childhood
Developmental Thinking, Categorization and Graphic Visualization

$58.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521705639

$ 58.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • What constitutes a 'normal' child? Throughout the nineteenth century public health and paediatrics played a leading role in the image and conception of children. By the twentieth century psychology had moved to the forefront, transforming our thinking and understanding. André Turmel investigates these transformations both from the perspective of the scientific observation of children (public hygiene, paediatrics, psychology and education) and from a public policy standpoint (child welfare, health policy, education and compulsory schooling). Using detailed historical accounts from Britain, the USA and France, Turmel studies how historical sequential development and statistical reasoning have led to a concept of what constitutes a 'normal' child and resulted in a form of standardization by which we monitor children. He shows how western society has become a child-centred culture and asks whether we continue to base parenting and teaching on a view of children that is no longer appropriate.

    • An original contribution to the sociology of childhood which takes a historical approach rather than the usual focus on socialisation
    • Shows how a cultural historical process has moulded our contemporary understanding of children
    • Engages with Darwin, Piaget and other historical figures of developmental thinking
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Turmel provides an important account of the history of the study of childhood and the powerful role of developmental models in that history.... Perhaps the author will extend his considerable talents to future books about the periods before 1850 and after 1945." - Arland Thornton, University of Michigan, American Historical Review

    "Andre Turmel's A Historical Sociology of Childhood is a magisterial work, international in scope, and theoretically sophisticated. Recommend it to your students, read it to refresh yourself on the strengths of postmodernism. In my view, the narrative.... Historians of childhood should benefit from Turmel's critique of sociology and developmental psychology and exposition of various theoretical discourses and methodologies. His global discussion of themes, events, and objects that many historians have studied from an American perspective should also be helpful. The close examination of surveys, graphs, and charts that some of us may not be familiar with, and explication of the complicated ways they were used should also be useful. In a larger sense, Turmel urges us to rethink and clarify social construction, and how we conceptualize childhood, and to explore categories other than age to analyze the history of children." - Barbara Beatty, Wellesley College, H-Childhood

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521705639
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 7 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Children in the collective
    2. Graphs, charts and tabulations: the textual inscription of children
    3. Social technologies: regulation and resistance
    4. The normal child: translation and circulation
    5. Developmental thinking as a cognitive form

  • Author

    André Turmel, Université Laval, Québec
    André Turmel is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Université Laval.

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