1st Edition

The Life Space of the Urban Child Perspectives on Martha Muchow's Classic Study

By Gunter Mey Copyright 2015
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The heart of this book is the translation of The Life Space of the Urban Child, written in 1935 by Martha and Hans Heinrich Muchow. Life Space provides a fresh look at children as actors and how they absorb their city environments. It uses an empirical base connected with theories about the worlds in which children live.

    The first section provides historical background on Muchow's study and the author. The second section presents the translation of the Life Space study, as well as comments from an environmental psychologist's perspective. The third section reviews the study's theoretical foundations, including the concept of "critical personalism," the perspectives of phenomenology, and the notion of Umwelt (environment). The last section addresses various lines of research developed from the Life Space study, including Muchow's work in describing children in urban environments, methodological approaches, and the significance of space in social science and educational contexts.

    The manner in which Martha Muchow conducted her studies is itself of note. She obtained access to the children in their environments and combined observation with cartographies and essays produced by the children. This approach was new at the time and continues to inspire researchers today. This volume is the latest work in Transaction's History and Theory of Psychology series.

    Series Editor's Foreword
    Observational Phenomenology in the Making: Learning
    from Martha Muchow
    Jaan Valsiner

    Muchow's Marks—An Introduction
    Gunter Mey and Hartmut Gunther

    Part I: Background

    Martha Muchow and Hans Heinrich Muchow:
    The Life Space of the Urban Child—The Loss and
    Discovery, Connections and Requisites
    Imbke Behnken and Jurgen Zinnecker

    Martha Muchow—A Life Devoted to Educational
    Enlightenment and to the Scientific Foundation
    of Understanding Children's Worlds
    Kurt Kreppner

    Martha Muchow's Life Space Study in the Context of
    Contemporary Childhood and Adolescent Research
    Elfriede Billmann-Mahecha

    Part II: The Study

    The Life Space of the Urban Child
    Martha Muchow and Hans Heinrich Muchow

    An Environmental Psychologist as Translator: Some
    Personal Comments on The Life Space of the Urban Child
    Hartmut Gunther

    Part III: Theoretical Foundations

    Personalistic Undertones in The Life Space of the Urban Child
    James T. Lamiell

    Applying Jakob von Uexkull's Concept of Umwelt
    to Human Experience and Development
    Lauri Linask, Riin Magnus, and Kalevi Kull

    Beyond Methodological Dichotomy—Martha
    Muchow's Methodological Foundations and Their
    Relation to Phenomenology
    Peter Faulstich and Hannelore Faulstich-Wieland

    Part IV: Perspectives

    Martha Muchow's Contribution to Developmental
    and Ecological Psychology—Children's Places as
    Contexts for Behavior and Development
    Urs Fuhrer

    Martha Muchow's Methodological Heritage—
    Pioneering Qualitative Research
    Gunter Mey

    Children as Actors—Muchow's Life Space Study
    and Its Implications for "New" Childhood Studies
    Beatrice Hungerland

    Children in the Classroom
    Gerold Scholz

    Media.City.Spaces—Children's Lifeworlds
    Kristin Westphal




    Mey, Gunter