Historical Archaeology of Childhood: From the Past and into the Present

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  • Documents (8)

  • Black Toys, White Children: The Socialization of Children into Race and Racism, 1865-1940. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher P. Barton.

    Race and racism are learned. While there has existed a myriad of social practices that have been used to socialize individuals into ideologies of race, this paper details the use of material culture directed at children, that is automata, costumes, games and toys. This paper focuses on material culture from the 1860s-1940s depicting Africans/African Americans. These objects produced, advertised and purchased by adults from children’s play served three purposes; 1) to cultivate ideologies of race...

  • Categorizing and Analyzing Age: Historical Bioarchaeology and Childhood (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meredith A.B. Ellis.

    While bioarchaeologists are able to estimate age from the remains of children into narrow ranges, they often avoid dividing childhood into categories based on these age estimates.  Children then end up lumped under just a few categories, or even a single category, "child."  While this is prudent in cases where chronological and cultural age cannot necessarily be matched, historical bioarchaeology gives us a unique opportunity to examine historical records and further refine how we categorize,...

  • The Children of the Ludlow Massacre: The Impact of Corporate Paternalism on Immigrant Children in Early 20th Century Colorado Coal Mining Communities. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jamie J Devine.

    Coal Miner’s lives in Southern Colorado were fraught with violence and hardships during the Coal Wars. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company attempted to assimilate ethnically diverse immigrant employees into American society. One of these methods was to impart American values to the children living in company towns. Archaeological work was conducted at the coal mining company town of Berwind, and at the Ludlow Massacre Tent Colony site. Using archaeological evidence and the historical record this...

  • The Children's Frontier: The Relationship Between the American Frontier Perspective and the Material Culture of Children (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Delfin A. Weis.

    The cultural perspective that developed out of the American West during the expansionary period (1850-1900) is viewed as the product of adults. Characteristics of independence, self-reliance, and gender-role relaxation defined the western individual and group. While the physical and social frontier impacted the adult, their cultural perspective was closely linked to the eastern United States. In contrast, children of the frontier matured in an environment that was at odds with eastern...

  • Developing Personhood: The discourse, experience, and material culture of children’s play activities in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only April Kamp-Whittaker.

    Recent studies apply the concept of "personhood" to the archaeological record as part of the continuing attempt to understand the complexities of past societies by moving away from gross categories and instead examining socially constructed roles. This paper explores the application of "personhood" as a way to transcend a broadly defined focus on "children" or "childhood." Such generalizing terms can obscure the impact of gender, age, and other social or economic variables on children’s...

  • Examining the landscape of enculturation at Euro-American Children’s Homes (Orphanages) and Native American Boarding Schools (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paulina Przystupa.

    Institutions played an important part in American culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, serving segments of society that could not take care of themselves. While asylums, orphanages, and boarding schools have come to have a negative connotation in modern American culture, these places played a formative role in the enculturation and care for multiple generations and ethnicities in the United States. Particularly, children’s homes or orphanages and Native American Boarding...

  • Gender Ideals In 19th And 20th Century Easton, Maryland: An Analysis of Toys and Family Planning Material In Historically African-American Communities (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ashley Rivas.

    Gender ideals of the past were often reflected in everyday material, such as toys and family planning items. The construction of gender ideals, enforcing gender roles throughout childhood through intimate toy interaction, and what kinds of women are considered "proper" women can all be studied through archaeological material. I will be conducting an analysis of material found at three sites in historic Easton, Maryland. Tying the archaeological material found at these sites together by analyzing...

  • Vecino Archaeology and the Politics of Play (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sunday Eiselt.

    Francis Swadesh identified an 18th century vecino cultural pattern, which after American occupation, retracted into the isolated hills and tributary valleys of the northern Rio Grande.  This paper investigates the impacts of the American invasion on vecino culture through a consideration of children’s artifacts and fantasy play.  As children were gradually excluded from the workforce and drawn into the home, they were simultaneously pulled into an expanding commercial market and public...