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Growing Consciousness of the Child in Ottoman Syria in the 19th Century: Modes of Parenting and Education in the Middle Class

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Chapter Summary

In recent decades, the history of childhood has become a separate discipline, and more than a branch of family history, in Western culture. During the medieval Islamic period several treatises were written on methods of childrearing, and there are indications that Muslim religious men and scholars were interested in children's education. This chapter examines one facet of children's history, namely parental education and childrearing among the Arab middle class. It deals with the public discourse on children and the ideas surrounding childhood as manifested in the Arabic-language press, especially in the region of Greater Syria at the turn of the 19th century. In Arab societies the child has often been seen as a crucial generational link in the family unit and the key to its continuation; the living person that binds the present to the past and the future.

Keywords: Arab middle class; medieval Islamic period; Muslim; Ottoman Syria; Western culture



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