The Life Space of the Urban Child : Perspectives on Martha Muchow's Classic Study book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781412854917
Published May 30, 2015 by Routledge
328 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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



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