Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children

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New Brunswick, NJ 2008 Hard cover New. Glued binding. Cloth over boards. 346 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white, Maps, Figures. Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies.

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Overview


With the advent of urbanization in the early modern period, the material worlds of children were vastly altered. In industrialized democracies, a broad consensus developed that children should not work, but rather learn and play in settings designed and built with these specific purposes in mind. Unregulated public spaces for children were no longer acceptable; and the cultural landscapes of children's private lives were changed, with modifications in architecture and the objects of daily life.

In Designing Modern Childhoods, architectural historians, social historians, social scientists, and architects examine the history and design of places and objects such as schools, hospitals, playgrounds, houses, cell phones, snowboards, and even the McDonald's Happy Meal. Special attention is given to how children use and interpret the spaces, buildings, and objects that are part of their lives, becoming themselves creators and carriers of culture. The authors extract common threads in children's understandings of their material worlds, but they also show how the experience of modernity varies for young people across time, through space, and according to age, gender, social class, race, and culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Kathryn Shattuck
Designing Modern Childhoods circumnavigates the globe to examine how children have been cared for, emboldened, coddled, toughened up and even manipulated by adults who thought they knew best when it came to providing a child’s physical world.
New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813541952
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Series: Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Marta Gutman is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture at the City College of New York/CUNY.

Ning de Coninck-Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Sociology at the Danish University of Education.

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Paula S. Fass
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Good to Think With: History, Space, and Modern Childhood
MARTA GUTMAN AND NING DE CONINCK-SMITH

PART ONE: Child Saving and the Design of Modern Childhoods
1 Connecting with the Landscape: Campfires and Youth Culture at American Summer Camps, 1890–1950
ABIGAIL A. VAN SLYCK
2 A (Better) Home Away from Home: The Emergence of Children’s Hospitals in an Age of Women’s Reform
DAVID C. SLOANE
3 Sick Children and the Thresholds of Domesticity: The Dawson-Harrington Families at Home
ANNMARIE ADAMS AND PETER GOSSAGE
4 The “Myers Park Experiment” in Auckland, New Zealand, 1913–1916
ANÉNE CUSINS-LEWER AND JULIA GATLEY

PART TWO: The Choreography of Education and Play
5 A Breath of Fresh Air: Open-Air Schools in Europe
ANNE-MARIE CHÂTELET
6 Molding the Republican Generation: The Landscapes of Learning in Early Republican Turkey
ZEYNEP KEZER
7 Nomadic Schools in Senegal: Manifestations of Integration or Ritual Performance?
KRISTINE JUUL
8 Adventure Playgrounds and Postwar Reconstruction
ROY KOZLOVSKY

PART THREE: Space, Power, and Inequality in
Modern Childhoods
9 The View from the Back Step: White Children Learn about Race in Johannesburg’s Suburban Homes
REBECCA GINSBURG
10 Children and the Rosenwald Schools of the American South
MARY S. HOFFSCHWELLE
11 The Geographies and Identities of Street Girls in Indonesia
HARRIOT BEAZLEY

PART FOUR: Consumption, Commodification, and the Media: Material Culture and Contemporary Childhoods
12 Coming of Age in Suburbia: Gifting the Consumer Child
ALISON J. CLARKE
13 Inscribing Nordic Childhoodsat McDonald’s
HELENE BREMBECK
14 “Board with the World”: Youthful Approaches to Landscapes and Mediascapes
OLAV CHRISTENSEN
15 Migrating Media: Anime Media Mixes and the Childhood Imagination
MIZUKO ITO

Epilogue: The Islanding of Children: Reshaping the Mythical Landscapes of Childhood
JOHN R. GILLIS

Notes on Contributors
Index

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