ERIC Number: ED254449
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Ideological Themes in Movements for Child Labor Reform and in Images of Children in Literature in 19th Century England and America.
This paper explores ideological factors that influenced child labor reform and the image of the child as depicted in romantic and sentimental literature of 19th century England and the United States. In both countries the image of the child and the view of the relative roles of the parent and the state in bearing responsibility for children underwent dramatic change during this era. A reluctance to interfere with paternal authority and a laissez-faire attitude towards industry created, during the last 20 to 30 years of the 19th century, a new attitude of "social responsibility" on the part of the public and the state towards children. Within the contexts of different cultural and historical particulars in the two countries, some common patterns do emerge. It appears that the groups that were disempowered by the sweeping social changes beginning in the late 1700's used the symbol of the child as an expression of their own increasingly marginal sensibilities. After the 1860's the needs of the two nations to maintain military and industrial strength also played a role in the change to a social welfare attitude toward children. Sections on each country are divided into three subsections: (1) early history of child labor reform, (2) sentimental and romantic images of children in literature, and (3) post-1860 reform movements. (IS)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.
Identifiers: English History; Ideology; Nineteenth Century; United States
Note: Paper from the Project on Human Potential. For other project papers, see SO 016 244-270.