4th Edition

Childhood in World History

By Peter N. Stearns Copyright 2021
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Now in its fourth edition, Childhood in World History covers the major developments in the history of childhood from the classical civilizations to the present and explores how agricultural and industrial economies have shaped the experiences of children.

    Through comparative analysis, Peter N. Stearns facilitates a cross-cultural and transnational understanding of attitudes toward the role of children in society, and how "models" of childhood have developed throughout history. He addresses the tension between regional and social/gender differences, on the one hand, and factors that encouraged greater convergence, including the experience of globalization. The book also deals with regional patterns as determined by different religious and cultural systems and family structures. It encourages readers to consider the complexity in evaluating childhood patterns in the past, in light of more modern conditions and expectations, and at the same time to realize some of the problems contemporary children encounter.

    This updated and expanded fourth edition includes:

    • Broadened discussions of childhood in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

    • Additional text on children’s play and the impact of immigration

    • More voices from children throughout

    • Updated bibliographies and suggested readings

    Concisely presented but broad in scope, this book will be of interest to students of world history and those involved in interdisciplinary approaches to childhood.

    0. Introduction  1. Childhood in Agricultural Societies: The First Big Changes  2. Childhood in the Classical Civilizations  3. Childhood in Postclassical World History  4. Changes and Constraints in the Postclassical and Early Modern Centuries, 600-1700  5. Children at Play  6. Childhood in the Industrial Age  7. Forces of Change in Western Society, 1750-1900  8. New Constraints: The Impact of Colonialism  9. The Immigrant Child  10. Japan Adapts the New Model  11. Childhood under Communism  12. Children in the Industrializing World  13. Childhood in the Affluent Societies  14. The Dislocations of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries  15. Globalization and Childhoods  16. Conclusion: Patterns and Tensions in Childhood’s History


    Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University, USA. He has written and taught widely on subjects in world history and has researched several aspects of the modern history of parenting and childhood. He also serves on the editorial board of the leading journal on childhood history.