Journal article

Raising a well-grown child : Popular Periodicals and the Cultural History of Child Health in the Early Nineteenth Century

Université de Fribourg DOKPE

  • 2022
Published in:
  • KulturPoetik. - Brill Deutschland GmbH. - 2022, vol. 22, no. 2, p. 179-211
English This paper explores depictions of child health and pedagogy in the German periodical press from the late eighteenth to the mid nineteenth centuries, focusing on children’s periodicals and illustrated magazines. Examining narrative, structural, material, and visual properties, I argue that journals facilitated specific functions in evolving cultural conversations about child health and education: they participated in a growing market of health; created new audiences for scientific and medical knowledge; and articulated, negotiated, and scrutinized pedagogical styles and medical ideas. I trace these functions to two main sites: first, I suggest that children’s periodicals underwent a process of narrativization and differentiation during which the Enlightenment association of physical and moral education was severed in favor of consumer appeal and literary entertainment. Second, I point out that this development contributed to a broader public scrutiny of educational styles and medical ideas: illustrated magazines drew on recent techniques of intermedial and intertextual dramatization to stage and actively modify predominant medical opinion. From this perspective, I suggest that journals can be considered structural elements in the ‘medicalization’ of childhood and pedagogy, providing a cultural counterpoint to the medical history of health and illness in the early nineteenth century. The article is a first step in a larger project exploring the material and media culture of child health in the early nineteenth century.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Médecine 3ème année
  • English
Pathology, clinical medicine
License undefined
Open access status
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