224 pages, 6 x 9
12 b&w illus.
Revolutions at Home
The Origin of Modern Childhood and the German Middle Class
By Emily Bruce
University of Massachusetts Press
How did we come to imagine what “ideal childhood” requires? Beginning in the late eighteenth century, German child-rearing radically transformed, and as these innovations in ideology and educational practice spread from middle-class families across European society, childhood came to be seen as a life stage critical to self-formation. This new approach was in part a process that adults imposed on youth, one that hinged on motivating children’s behavior through affection and cultivating internal discipline. But this is not just a story about parents’ and pedagogues’ efforts to shape childhood. Offering rare glimpses of young students’ diaries, letters, and marginalia, Emily Bruce reveals how children themselves negotiated these changes.
Emily Bruce is assistant professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
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