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Child Saving & Child Study Movements • Influence of experts – G. Stanley Hall (1904) • “Children are not like adults, but unique creatures” • Development of adolescence – “Storm & Stress” – Sigmund Freud (1900-1910) – J. B. Watson (1920) • Legacy of Child Saving Era/ Child Study Movement Baby Boom The Baby Boom, Prosperity, and the Changing Worlds of Children (1945 – 1963) Defining and explaining the “Boom” • Population increase • Intangibles: most affluent, most favored, healthiest, best-fed, best-clothed, best- housed • Effect of “boomers” • Why? Post-war demand, marriage, birth control, prosperity, & . . . glorification of motherhood Child Development Theorists: Baby Boom Era • Bowlby (1940s, 1958, 1969) – Attachment Theory – “enduring, emotional bond between caregiver and child” – Emotionally responsive parents have infants who have a secure attachment – Infants who have a secure attachment are more likely to explore the world (leads to future competence) – In stressful situations, the responsive parent provides protection, comfort, and reassurance (and tells the child they can expect a protective world) Child Development Theorists: Baby Boom Era • Rene Spitz (mid-1940s) – Institutionalized infants and children in Europe – Scheduled NOT responsive care – Delayed development, failure to thrive, apathy • Dr. Spock – Baby and Child Care (1st edition, 1946) – Advised permissiveness, not following strict schedule, with loving guidance Excerpts from Dr. Spock: Baby and Child Care • You know more than you think you do • Don’t be afraid of your baby • Enjoy children as they are – that’s how they’ll grow up best • Babies aren’t frail: “I’m afraid I’ll hurt if I don’t handle her right” • Parenting takes time and effort Child-centered family • Suburbs – Homogeneous – EX: Leavitttown – PTA, Scouts, Little League – more support • Economy of abundance – EX: automated washing machines – Changed employment trends Schools, the Cold War, and the Great Talent Search • Practical changes in schools • Hopes to identify most talented (intelligent) to compete with Russia – “Sputnick” – 1957 – National Defense Education Act – Testing movement (including SAT) • Racial desegregation (1954): Brown vs Topeka Board of Education** (Why was it nat’l priority?) Other influences • Mass media – EX: 1952, 46% of households had a t.v. – EX: Creation of children’s market (Barbie dolls – 1959) – EX: Music industry = Rock n’ Roll • Peers – From Little League to Gangs (juvenile del. inc.) – Alienation (e.g., J. D. Salinger, Jack Kerouac) to Alienating society (crisis of ’60s) Myth?: Alternative view by Stephanie Coontz • 1/3 American children poor • 1/3 of families needed 2nd income • Media was ethnocentric: reality was much more diverse • “Glorified Mothers” – failure captured in the “Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan • Child-centered values: Irrelevant to children of poor Baby Bust The Age of Narcissism: 1963-1982 Your views of contemporary childhood • What is the best part about growing up in American today? • What is the biggest problem children/parents face? • In contemporary American society, does nature or nurture rule the philosophical war? • Do we see children as innocent or corrupted by society? • Do we value dependence or independence in children?
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