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p. 1Introduction

Catching cultures in high relieflocked

  • James Marten


Although the biological facts of being a child have remained largely the same, philosophers and theologians, reformers and policymakers, educators and scholars have, over the last few centuries, come to varying conclusions about the meaning of childhood and the place of children in society. Childhood is a social construction, shaped by local conditions, beliefs, and needs, as well as time. As a result, it is important that while children are a relatively unchanging fact of life, childhood is a constantly shifting concept. The Introduction explains that there are many histories of childhood, although a few general concepts and facts loosely bind them together.

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