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ERIC Number: EJ945896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Normalising Childhood: Policies and Interventions Concerning Special Children in the United States and Europe (1900-1960)
van Drenth, Annemieke; Myers, Kevin
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v47 n6 p719-727 2011
In this article, the authors examine policies and interventions concerning special children in the United States and Europe from 1900 to 1960. They focus on concerns about, and interventions on, children defined as having "special needs". They explore interventions, both in the form of words and practices, and examine their effects on children and families, and on the wider construction of childhood in the first half of the twentieth century. The category of the "normal child" emerged at the end of the nineteenth century as a direct consequence of the rationalisation of social relations and the scientific investigation of adults as well as children. Body, mind and subjectivity were studied and inscribed in texts, images, statistics and graphs. Professionalised description and analysis of children helped to create childhoods that were either "normal" or "abnormal"/"deviant" in specific dimensions and characteristics. The probabilistic background of the new scientific methods of approaching children underlined the increasing belief that social interventions could influence and improve the child's body and mind, and thus children's lives and their well-being. Categorisation and classification became crucial, both in discourses and in social interventions. (Contains 32 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States