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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Tisdall
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Both education and parenting became increasingly ‘child-centred’, or ‘progressive’, in post-war England. This article contends that the impact of this shift for concepts of childhood, and for children themselves, was equivocal. Progressive methods were physically and emotionally demanding for both teachers and parents, and popularised versions of developmental psychology and psychoanalysis shaped a limiting concept of the child. This article also suggests, in line with recent work by Thomson and Shapira, that changing concepts of childhood map democratic selfhood because the capabilities that children lacked were those that must be possessed by the adult citizen. By exploring how children were defined in relation to adults, and how adults’ needs were increasingly subordinated to those of the child, this article also begins to question how we might usefully use age as a ‘category of historical analysis’.
Author(s): Tisdall L
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Contemporary British History
Print publication date: 01/01/2017
Online publication date: 20/09/2016
Acceptance date: 01/01/2016
ISSN (print): 1361-9462
ISSN (electronic): 1743-7997
Notes: Published Gold Open Access.
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