Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Post-War Settlement

Hardcover | December 28, 2013

byMathew Thomson

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Lost Freedom addresses the widespread feeling that there has been a fundamental change in the social life of children in recent decades: the loss of childhood freedom, and in particular, the loss of freedom to roam beyond the safety of home. Mathew Thomson explores this phenomenon,concentrating on the period from the Second World War until the 1970s, and considering the roles of psychological theory, traffic, safety consciousness, anxiety about sexual danger, and television in the erosion of freedom.Thomson argues that the Second World War has an important place in this story, with war-borne anxieties encouraging an emphasis on the central importance of a landscape of home. War also encouraged the development of specially designed spaces for the cultivation of the child, including the adventureplayground, and the virtual landscape of children's television. However, before the 1970s, British children still had much more physical freedom than they do today. Lost Freedom explores why this situation has changed. The volume pays particular attention to the 1970s as a period of transition, andone which saw radical visions of child liberation, but with anxieties about child protection also escalating in response. This is strikingly demonstrated in the story of how the paedophile emerged as a figure of major public concern. Thomson argues that this crisis of concern over child freedom isindicative of some of the broader problems of the social settlements that had been forged out of the Second World War.

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Lost Freedom addresses the widespread feeling that there has been a fundamental change in the social life of children in recent decades: the loss of childhood freedom, and in particular, the loss of freedom to roam beyond the safety of home. Mathew Thomson explores this phenomenon,concentrating on the period from the Second World War u...

Mathew Thomson is a Reader in History at the University of Warwick. He is the author of The Problem of Mental Deficiency (OUP, 1998) and Psychological Subjects (OUP, 2006).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:December 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199677484

ISBN - 13:9780199677481

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Image of Lost Freedom2. The Shadow of War3. Bowlbyism and the Post-War Settlement4. Television and a Virtual Landscape of the Child5. Out and About: Traffic, Play, and Safety6. Sexual Danger and the Age of the Paedophile7. Radicalisation and Crisis of the Post-War Landscape SettlementConclusion