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ERIC Number: EJ818469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
A Problematic Alliance: Colonial Anthropology, Recapitulation Theory, and G. Stanley Hall's Program for the Liberation of America's Youth
Garrison, Joshua
American Educational History Journal, v35 n1 p131-147 2008
Recent studies of G. Stanley Hall's opus, "Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education" (1904), have highlighted one of the book's most problematic implications: if young people were thought to be the developmental analogues of "primitive" or "savage," then the treatment of young people might be "influenced by colonialist discourse, with its racist and evolutionist bases" (Lesko 1996). As Stephen Jay Gould has written, the theory of recapitulation--which rendered young people and members of the "lower races" evolutionary equivalents--provided "an arsenal of racist arguments supplied by science to justify slavery and imperialism" (Gould 1977, 126). Recapitulation was central to Hall's work, and virtually no theme in "Adolescence" was explored without its application. This prompts a troubling question: If Hall's work on child development was based on a racial theory that legitimized the oppression of colonized peoples, did it also justify the subjugation of young people? If so, this was clearly not Hall's intent. Instead, "Adolescence" was published in an effort to liberate young people from conditions that he likened to those faced by colonial peoples. Rather than seeing Hall as one of the most important (and radical) advocates of children's rights, however, historians have generally written him off as a mystical crackpot (Kliebard 1995, 38). In this article, the author critiques the views forwarded by Hall in his article, "Adolescence: Its Psychology And Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education". (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A