Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century


The health and welfare of children became an area of concern and action in the early decades of the twentieth century. This concern would develop an ever-broader remit during the course of the century, moving from anxiety about high death rates, physical health and the ‘unfit’, to embrace all children and the mental health and the psychological well-being of individuals.
This volume emerged out of an Anglo-Dutch Workshop held at the University of Warwick in July 1999, and is the first book to explore child health in the twentieth century in a comparative perspective, focussing on such issues as the link between child health and citizenship, the impact of ideas concerning degeneracy, socialisation, consumerism and children’s rights, and the role of the family, state and experts in mediating child health.
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Review Quotes

”…a valuable collection of scholarly, but highly readable reflections on the evolution of adult attitudes toward children and in practices involving or affecting children in two ‘developed’ countries.”
- in: The Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2005

“The essays in this book… raise interesting issues.”
- in: The Social History of Medicine, Vol. 17, 2004

“The history of children’s health covers a multiplicity of subject areas and this volume is no exception… Child health does appear to be developing its own specific historiography and this volume is an important contribution.”
- in: Medical History, Vol 48, No. 3, July 2004

“… a fine collection of essays […] an interesting volume, which provides new thoughts on the history of childhood and children ‘as being school-aged’”
- in: Medicina & Storia, Vol. 7, 2004

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

1 Cultures of Child Health in Britain and the Netherlands in the Twentieth Century
Hilary Marland and Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra

2 Vigorous, Pure and Vulnerable: Child Health and Citizenship in the Netherlands Since the End of the Nineteenth Century
Ido de Haan

3 Child Health, National Fitness, and Physical Education in Britain, 1900-1940
John Welshman

4 Educational Reform, Citizenship and the Origins of the School Medical Service Bernard Harris

5 Child Health, Commerce and Family Values: The Domestic Production of the Middle Class in Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Britain Lyubov G. Gurjeva

6 Health and the Medicalisation of Advice to Parents in the Netherlands, 1890-1950 Nelleke Bakker

7 ‘Grown-up Children’: Understandings of Health and Mental Deficiency in Edwardian England
Mark Jackson


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