In the Western world, the modern view of childhood as a space
protected from broader adult society first became a dominant social
vision during the nineteenth century. Many of the West's sharpest
portrayals of children in literature and the arts emerged at that
time in both Europe and the United States and continue to organize
our perceptions and sensibilities to this day. But that childhood
is now being recreated.
Many social and political developments since the end of the World
War II have fundamentally altered the lives children lead and are
now beginning to transform conceptions of childhood.
Reinventing Childhood After World War II brings together
seven prominent historians of modern childhood to identify
precisely what has changed in children's lives and why. Topics
range from youth culture to children's rights; from changing
definitions of age to nontraditional families; from parenting
styles to how American experiences compare with those of the rest
of the Western world. Taken together, the essays argue that
children's experiences have changed in such dramatic and important
ways since 1945 that parents, other adults, and girls and boys
themselves have had to reinvent almost every aspect of
Reinventing Childhood After World War II presents a
striking interpretation of the nature and status of childhood that
will be essential to students and scholars of childhood, as well as
policy makers, educators, parents, and all those concerned with the
lives of children in the world today.
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