You Can Help Your Country: English children's work during the Second World War

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9780854738892: You Can Help Your Country: English children's work during the Second World War
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Bringing in the harvest. Watching for enemy aircraft. Rescuing survivors from the wreckage of bombed houses. Keeping the family business running when parents were enlisted into war-work. These are just a few examples of how children and young people made substantial contributions to the war effort during the Second World War. You Can Help Your Country: English children’s work during the Second World War reveals the remarkable, hidden history of children as social agents who actively participated in a national effort during a period of crisis. This highly-illustrated volume draws on interviews with people who were school-age during the war, on archives and on school histories which recorded wartime activities as well as children’s accounts of their experiences at the time. Children expressed both positive and negative views of their work: exhilaration and exhaustion, pride and resentment, delight in new freedoms and anger at deprivation. Applying a sociological approach, the authors outline the social history of childhood during the first half of the twentieth century, documenting heated debates about the ‘proper’ activities of children and analysing the thinking that questioned class-based childhoods and schooling and promoted better health and better educational opportunities. In this context, they examine how children responded to appeals to ‘do their bit’ as urged through government poster campaigns, BBC radio broadcast programmes for schools, propaganda films and children’s fiction. This is a stimulating, entertaining and scholarly contribution to the history of childhood, which will enable the reader to think about ideas of childhood today and their rights, as citizens, to participate in the social and political life of their society. It will be essential reading for academics, researchers and students in the field of educational sociology and more widely, and will appeal to anyone with an interest in social history and war studies.

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Review:

Think of children and the Second World War, and evacuation comes immediately to mind. Berry Mayall and Virginia Morrow have a different story to tell, one in which all the children of the nation were encouraged to contribute to the war effort. (Hugh Cunningham, Professor Emeritus University of Kent)

Another major contribution to the sociology of childhood by two pioneers in the field. (Sarane Spence Boocock, Emeritus Professor of Sociology Rutgers University)

In raising questions about the nature of children/childhood, this is a timely, relevant, and accessibly written book, and is an ideal text for students in education, history, and sociology. (Harry Hendrick, Visiting Associate Professor University of Southern Denmark)

I will certainly add it to my student reading list. (Dr Martin Parsons, Director of the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies University of Reading)

...Berry Mayall and Virginia Morrow have given us an astute, exhaustively researched book that establishes the 'starting line' for work on post-war childhood in Western societies. (Professor Stephen Lassonde, author of Learning to Forget: Schooling and family life in working-class New Haven, 1870-1940 (Yale, 2005), and Deputy Dean of College Brown University)

Their discussion has resonance beyond the specific example of England during a certain time in history. The links drawn between work and schooling in the war have relevance for contemporary policy debates on the nexus between schooling and child work/labour, in both Western and Eastern countries and on issues of children as participants and citizens, able to make valuable contributions to their communities. (Jan Mason, Emeritus Professor, Social Justice and Social Change Research Group University of Western Sydney, Australia)

About the Author:

Berry Mayall is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has worked for many years on research projects studying the daily lives of children and their parents.

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Berry Mayall, Virginia Morrow
Published by Institute of Education, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10: 0854738894 ISBN 13: 9780854738892
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Book Description Institute of Education, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Using a rich collection of archives, school histories, photographs and memoirs, this book charts and discusses the contributions English children made to the war effort during World War II. As men and women were increasingly called up for war work, as the country needed to grow as much food as possible, and as the war effort required ever increasing funds, children were the last resource. Many of them worked on the land, planting and harvesting crops, they raised large sums for the war, and they carried out a range of other tasks. This book not only examines the lives of children during WWII in unprecedented detail, but also it sheds light on the role of children in society generally. The inter-war years were a time when the character and proper activities of childhood were being debated. While protecting the next generation of citizens through evacuation was one strand in thinking, commentators in education and workers organizations debated whether children should be mainly regarded as learners at school, or could combine that kind of activity with war-related work. This asked a question that still has relevance today: should children be conceptualized as citizens for the future or as participating citizens now? This debate leads to even larger questions about the social construction of childhood. As children have increasingly been withdrawn from paid and unpaid work, their contribution can be understood through their work at school; though this is often disguised or devalued since adults may conceptualize it as socialization by adults. The inter-war years and the war years in England were a key time for re-thinking childhood, and the issues that were raised then still have relevance to the role of children in society today. Seller Inventory # AAO9780854738892

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Berry Mayall, Virginia Morrow
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Book Description Institute of Education, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Using a rich collection of archives, school histories, photographs and memoirs, this book charts and discusses the contributions English children made to the war effort during World War II. As men and women were increasingly called up for war work, as the country needed to grow as much food as possible, and as the war effort required ever increasing funds, children were the last resource. Many of them worked on the land, planting and harvesting crops, they raised large sums for the war, and they carried out a range of other tasks. This book not only examines the lives of children during WWII in unprecedented detail, but also it sheds light on the role of children in society generally. The inter-war years were a time when the character and proper activities of childhood were being debated. While protecting the next generation of citizens through evacuation was one strand in thinking, commentators in education and workers organizations debated whether children should be mainly regarded as learners at school, or could combine that kind of activity with war-related work. This asked a question that still has relevance today: should children be conceptualized as citizens for the future or as participating citizens now? This debate leads to even larger questions about the social construction of childhood. As children have increasingly been withdrawn from paid and unpaid work, their contribution can be understood through their work at school; though this is often disguised or devalued since adults may conceptualize it as socialization by adults. The inter-war years and the war years in England were a key time for re-thinking childhood, and the issues that were raised then still have relevance to the role of children in society today. Seller Inventory # AAO9780854738892

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Book Description Institute of Education, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Using a rich collection of archives, school histories, photographs and memoirs, this book charts and discusses the contributions English children made to the war effort during World War II. As men and women were increasingly called up for war work, as the country needed to grow as much food as possible, and as the war effort required ever increasing funds, children were the last resource. Many of them worked on the land, planting and harvesting crops, they raised large sums for the war, and they carried out a range of other tasks. This book not only examines the lives of children during WWII in unprecedented detail, but also it sheds light on the role of children in society generally. The inter-war years were a time when the character and proper activities of childhood were being debated. While protecting the next generation of citizens through evacuation was one strand in thinking, commentators in education and workers organizations debated whether children should be mainly regarded as learners at school, or could combine that kind of activity with war-related work. This asked a question that still has relevance today: should children be conceptualized as citizens for the future or as participating citizens now? This debate leads to even larger questions about the social construction of childhood. As children have increasingly been withdrawn from paid and unpaid work, their contribution can be understood through their work at school; though this is often disguised or devalued since adults may conceptualize it as socialization by adults. The inter-war years and the war years in England were a key time for re-thinking childhood, and the issues that were raised then still have relevance to the role of children in society today. Seller Inventory # BTE9780854738892

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