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Module 48

Age Matters: Growing Up in the Interwar Years

Cynthia Comacchio

This module outlines the ways in which age is an important status marker as well as a social construction; how children and youth signify both the hopes and the anxieties that prevail in particular moments; how such variables as class, region, gender, “race,” and culture shape both ideas and the actual experience of growing up. The emphasis is on the interwar years. I have emphasized the challenges of historical study of the young, and the primary materials are meant to balance traditional sources—government, print media with personal stories from diaries and oral histories.

Primary sources:

  1. Photo: Centennial Number, Everywoman´s World, 1917    page 7
  2. Document: The Surprise of My Life, 1920s    page 8
  3. Document: Diary of Mary Dulhanty, 1926–27    page 12
  4. Document: The Revolt of Youth, 1926    page 13
  5. Document: Freedom to Play, 1930s–40s    page 14

Secondary sources:

1. Making Modern Childhood, the Natural Way: Psychology, Mental Hygiene, and Progressive Education at Ontario Summer Camps, 1920–1955, Sharon Yvonne Wall    page 15

2. Lost in Modernity: The“Problem of Modern Youth” in English Canada, 1920–50, Cynthia Comacchio    
page 34

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50