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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Youth and Modernity, c.1880-1970 (ECSH10070)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the ways in which youth and shifting concepts associated with it (such as childhood, adolescence and the phenomenon of the teenager) has been interpreted and experienced in the twentieth century. The course focuses primarily on Britain but also explores the wider global contexts of empire and decolonisation, migration, war in Europe and americanisation; the British experience is compared and contrasted with that of other locations.
Course description Although a significant proportion of the western population has consisted of those under 21, the study of childhood and youth has often been regarded as a marginal area of social history. Over the last 20 years, however, historians have produced a wealth of research which demonstrates that the idea of childhood was crucial to the development of modern welfare states and to modern concepts of identity, sexuality and selfhood. Furthermore, children and young people have been reclaimed as historical actors and even agents of change. The twentieth century has been labelled 'the century of the child' in that recognition of children's specific needs, rights and developments has been a central component of both official and unofficial discourse. However, a preoccupation with the 'adolescent' or 'teenager' as an object of social concern, anxiety and moral panic has also been apparent. As well as examining and unpacking this anxiety, we will consider debates relating to youth culture, resistance and agency. We will consider, throughout, the ways in which ideas about class, gender, race and age have structured adult interventions and youthful experience. The role of the law, medicine, religion and education will be explored at various points. We will also assess the problem of 'finding' the 'real' child in the archive because his/her traces are so often transitory. Extensive use will be made of a wide variety of primary sources (visual and textual) including film and other visual images, official reports and files, newspapers, magazines and personal testimonies. Topics covered include the discovery of adolescence; health, welfare and psychology; leisure and popular culture; evacuation and the disruption of wartime; juvenile delinquency, the teenager and youth subculture.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Primary Source Analysis (33%)
3,000 word Essay (67%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course.
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship.
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material.
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Cox, P. (2003) Gender, Justice and Welfare: Bad Girls in Britain, 1900-1950. Macmillan.
Fowler, D. (1995) The first Teenagers: the Lifestyles of Young Wage-Earners in Inter-war Britain. Taylor & Francis.
Gardner, J. (2005) The Children's War. Imperial War museum.
Hendrick, H. (1997) Children, Childhood and English Society 1880-1990. Cambridge University Press.
Jackson, L.A. (2014) 'Reform' in Policing Youth: Britain 1945-1970. Manchester UP.
Jenks, C. (1996) Childhood. Routledge.
Maynes, M.J, B. Soland and C. Benninghaus (eds) (2005), Secret Gardens, Satanic Mills. Placing Girls in European History, 1750-1960. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Osgerby, B. (1998) Youth in Britain since 1945. Oxford University Press.
Springhall, J. (1977) Youth, Empire and Society: British Youth Movements 1883-1940. Croom Helm.
S. Todd (2005) Young Women, Work and Family in England 1918-1950. Oxford UP.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsYouth and Modernity 1880
Course organiserProf Louise Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3837
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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