ERIC Number: ED365427
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep-2
Reference Count: N/A
Family Roles in America's Utopian Communities from the 1820s to the 1920s.
Hewes, Dorothy W.
This review of the literature about fictional and actual utopian communities focuses on parents and children in American utopias. Introductory comments explore the history and defining characteristics of utopias. The next section highlights references to women, children, education, and parenting in several fictional utopias, including Plato's "Republic," Prospero's island in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," Sir Thomas More's "Utopia," and Thommasco Campanella's "City of the Sun." A section on American utopias begins with the transcendentalist utopia Fruitlands, which based education on controlling habits and senses through the exertion of self-will and in communion with nature, with all adults sharing in children's schooling at home using a system based on Pestalozzi's school in Switzerland. Next, a description of the Brook Farm Association for Industry and Education highlights such features as the association's preschool program. Robert Owen's New Harmony experiment and Etienne Cabet's Icarian utopias are discussed next. These discussions focus on women's role in these societies. Next, an in-depth examination of Lomaland in California provides information on Katherine Tingley and other founders, the utopian characteristics of Lomaland, financial problems, the Rule of Silence, the rejection of corporal punishment, formalized action games, the influence of Buddhism on Lomaland's Theosophy, group houses and dormitories for children after the age of 5 months, children's daily routines, and the role of parents. Concluding comments indicate that the developmental environment for children in utopias was better than that in family homes of the period. Contains 61 references. (AC)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Utopian Literature; Utopian Societies
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the International Standing Working Group for the History of Early Childhood Education (Sopron, Hungary, September 2, 1993).