Taking a global look at what the category of childhood has meant from agricultural societies to the present day, Childhood in World History offers a vital overview of this topical field. Through comparative analysis, Peter Stearns facilitates a cross-cultural and transnational understanding of attitudes towards the role of children in society, and how "models" of childhood have developed throughout history. Engaging with issues around children’s role in the family and the involvement of communal, national, educational, and global infrastructures, Stearns unpacks the experience of childhood in the West, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
This expanded and updated third edition includes:
- updated bibliographies and suggested readings
- expanded discussions of religion and children’s rights
- a new chapter on families in developing economies in the early twentieth century
- broadened discussions of childhood in Japan and in communist countries.
With expanded further reading lists, Stearns’s accessible text not only provides an overview of its field but also offers a research guide for more specialized study. Concisely presented but broad in scope, Stearns’s accessible text guides readers through the transformations of the concept of childhood.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: childhood in world history
- Childhood in agricultural societies: the ﬁrst big changes
- Childhood in the classical civilizations
- Childhood in postclassical world history: the impact of religious change
- Contacts and Contrasts in the Postclassical World
- Forces of change and the modern model of childhood: developments in the west, eighteenth century to 1914
- Alongside the modern model: the pressures of colonialism
- Modern childhood in Asia: Japan adapts the new model
- Childhood and communist revolutions
- Childhood in the affluent societies, twentieth and twenty-ﬁrst centuries
- The dislocations in the twentieth and twenty-ﬁrst centuries: children face war and violence
- Globalization and childhoods
- The Dilemma of Children’s Happiness
- Conclusion: childhoods from past toward future