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Growing Up
The History of Childhood in Global Context

By Peter N. Stearns

Growing Up
Paperback, 72 pages $19.95
Published: 5th January 2005
ISBN: 9781932792287
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All History, All Practical Theology, Spiritual Formation

Growing Up combines two flourishing historical fields-the history of childhood and world history-to address the question of how much of childhood is natural and how much is historically determined. The first lecture gauges the impact of the development of agriculture, civilization, and religion upon the premodern experience of childhood. The second lecture contrasts modern perspectives on childhood with more traditional ones before investigating how and why modern perspectives developed and spread. These lectures clearly demonstrate that the transformation of childhood is both recent and sweeping.

1. Childhood in Agricultural Societies

2. Childhood Amid Modernization and Globalization

About the Author

"Stearns explores how some of the larger patterns of world history intersect with the intimate experience of childhood. Readers will note with respect the range of learning that underpins this informative text, and they will discover with gratitude how interesting and provocative the history of childhood is."

—Raymond Grew, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Michigan

"No historian takes the long view and the big picture more seriously than Peter Stearns. In these provocative and important essays, Stearns challenges historians of childhood to think seriously and globally by outlining a world history of childhood."

—Paula S. Fass, Margaret Byrne Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley

"Growing Up is the very first book to delineate the global history of childhood. Succinctly and convincingly, Peter Stearns analyzes the implications of the transitions from a hunting and gathering to an agricultural and industrial economy and traces the distinctive ways that diverse civilizations and religious traditions approached childhood. This study will be the starting point for all future attempts to place childhood in comparative perspective."

—Steven Mintz, John and Rebecca Moore Professor of History, University of Houston

Peter Stearns (Ph.D. Harvard University) is the provost at George Mason University. He is the author of over thirty books, including Global Outrage: The Origins and Impact of World Opinion from the 1780s to the 21st Century (2005); Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-rearing in American (2004); and Consumerism in World History: The Global Transformation of Desire (2004).

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 72 pages
 9in x 6in

  HIS037000, SOC047000
 Baylor University Press

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