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Peter N. Stearns - Essay Example

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Fritz Stern has compile a wide-ranging compilation of unique source resources written by historians, ancient and modern, in his book The Varieties of History that illuminate the nature of history as a regulation and a process. In the book he has talked about the great historians like Peter N…
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Peter N. Stearns
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Download file to see previous pages Stern opens each chapter and discussion of a new historian with perceptive beginning and background information that helps to set the historian in a better framework than if it were not to appear. Apart from this, his presence is untraceable, which attests to his ability as a historian himself to remain isolated from his work.
Peter N. Stearns is currently Heinz Professor of History and Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Stearns also has the credit of being the founder along with editor of the Journal of Social History. He has published some 70 articles and fifty books. His present research is on the history of emotions and personal constraints in contemporary American and French culture (for example, weight consciousness). He also continues research in the history of public policy in areas such as social security, mental health, child direction, and infant mortality. He has long been active in developing innovative teaching methodologies, especially in the field of world history.
Hulbert and Stearns identify an array of comprehensive social factors. First were demographic shifts that were changing the domestic arrangements of young parents. With the move into big cities from farms or (in the case of immigrants) from overseas, women ever more found themselves secluded from the network of mothers, aunts, and grandmothers who in the past had handed down female intelligence about infant care. Adding to the influence of the experts was, in the case of the middle class, rising prosperity: more mothers had time to become compulsive about their children, an unimaginable luxury for poor and rural women thoughtful with necessities.
The experts also appealed to the public's enthrallment with being "modern." Particularly, scientists found a keen audience among extremely well-educated females, middle-class women in love with of the notion that they were raising their children in partnership with up-to-date professionals. In this respect, the allegedly outdated ideas of the preceding generation became a subject for eye-rolling. In 1917, one authority only half-jokingly suggested titling a chapter of his book, "The Elimination of the Grandmother." According to a 1940 poll referred to by Stearns, a good number of parents thought it essential to raise their children differently from how they themselves had been raised. This result would undoubtedly hold today as well.
Fueling the stable need for a feeling of up-to-dateness has been the regularity with which child-care experts have claimed to make ever new, breakthrough discoveries. All the way through the 20th century there was a regular flow: new categories of childhood, new pledges, and new fields of specialty. In 1904, G. Stanley Hall published a two-volume thesis on "adolescence" that among other things introduced the word itself into daily parlance. By the 1920's, experts had come up with terminologies like "preschooler" and "toddler," each accompanied by its own theories and suggested techniques. Our own day's contribution to progress has been the detection of such hitherto unheard of creatures as "tweens" and "emerging adults."
Apart from the sociological pressures, one very good reason that a good number of parents embraced modern theory is that it was saving young lives. At the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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