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The Degeneracy Crisis and Victorian Youth
The Degeneracy Crisis and Victorian Youth
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Thomas E. Jordan - Author
Price: $56.50 
Hardcover - 335 pages
Release Date: January 1993
ISBN10: 0-7914-1245-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1245-9

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 335 pages
Release Date: December 1992
ISBN10: 0-7914-1246-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1246-6

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"Jordan reminds us that history, policy, and economics are great shaping forces in terms of setting ceilings on what children can be. There is much here that is important to scholars in child growth and development. But most important is that we are reminded of the plight of poor children today as well as yesterday." -- Margaret Yonemura, State University of New York, Binghamton

A book in the ecology of child development, The Degeneracy Crisis and Victorian Youth studies stress in the lives of children in the Victorian age (1837 - 1901). The term "degeneracy" is pursued in the context of biosocial problems, especially those involving the young.

The book begins by presenting an overview of the nineteenth century, noting the changes in population, urbanization, the reform movement, and the rise of Darwinism. It next examines the social and health contexts in which human development took place, considering genetics, nutrition, health, mortality, and climate. Jordan then addresses empirically the nature of growth in Victorian children and young adults, presenting height and health data and using them as the dependent measure for descriptive and multivariate analysis of the Victorian economy. The concept of degeneracy, the evolution of social policy, and the efforts of specific reformers are discussed with attention to the role of government policy toward the end of the period.

Thomas E. Jordan is Curators' Professor of Child Development at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the author of Victorian Childhood: Themes and Variations also published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Preface

Acknowlegments

1. The Degeneracy Question

Circumstances of Life
The Degeneracy Problem
Degeneracy as Theory
Fiction and Fact
The Problem

2. Towns, Housing, and Work

Health in Towns
Towns
Metropolitan Model Housing
Rural Housing
Scotland and Ireland
Ecology and Housing
Urbanization of Leeds
Work

3. Circumstances of Life

Genetics and Evolution
Nutrition
Disease
Mortality
Teeth
Poverty
Climate
Population Growth
Population, Climate, Mortality, and Height
Victorian Index of Children and Youth

4. Height and Body Mass of Children

Concepts
Heights 1805-1914
Appraising Social Level
Data
Selected Studies
Heights of Victorians
Heights and the Degeneracy Question
Estimating Rate of Change
Estimating Quetelet's Body Mass Index
Discussion

5. Mars and Hygeia

The Army as a Social System
Problems of Data
Recruits
Rejection Rates
The Boer War
Commentary

6. Social-Economic Circumstances and Height

The Industrial Revolution
Social Indicators
Nutrition
Economic Variables and Height
A Destructive Consideration of Heights
A Multivariate Analysis

7. Public Policy and Reform

Ideology
Shapers of Public Policy
Documents and Inquiries
Resistance
Private Philanthropy
Government in Action
Eras of Progressivism

8. Discussion

Data and Ideology
The Degeneracy Question
Stress

Appendices

Bibliography

Indexes



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