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Normalizing the Ideal : Psychology, Schooling, and the Family in Postwar Canada

Author: Mona Gleason
Publisher: Toronto : University of Toronto Press, [2019] ©1999
Series: Studies in Gender and History
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Homemaker mom, breadwinning dad who played hockey with his son on the weekends, one brother or sister, this was normal Canadian life in the fifties, right? Well, not quite, but author Mona Gleason argues that Canadian psychologists were in part responsible for this fiction of normalcy.Postwar insecurity about the stability of family life became a platform on which to elevate the role of psychologists in society.  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Mona Gleason
ISBN: 9781442677760 1442677767
OCLC Number: 1100435527
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Frontmatter --
Contents --
Introduction --
1. Prelude to the Postwar Agenda: Psychology in Early Twentieth-Century Canada --
2. William Blatz and Samuel Laycock: 'Men of Good Counsel' --
3. Gendering the Normal Parent and Child --
4. Safeguarding the Family: Psychology and the Construction of Normalcy --
5. Internalizing the Ideal: The Goals of Good Parenting --
6. Constructing Normal Citizens? Psychology in Postwar Schools --
Conclusion --
Notes --
Bibliography --
Index
Series Title: Studies in Gender and History
Responsibility: Mona Gleason.
More information:

Abstract:

Homemaker mom, breadwinning dad who played hockey with his son on the weekends, one brother or sister, this was normal Canadian life in the fifties, right? Well, not quite, but author Mona Gleason argues that Canadian psychologists were in part responsible for this fiction of normalcy.Postwar insecurity about the stability of family life became a platform on which to elevate the role of psychologists in society. Moving outside the universities with radio shows and child-rearing manuals, these figures of authority changed the tenor of parental and familial concern from physical to mental health. Influential psychologists like Samuel Laycock and William Blatz spread their own vision of life as the healthy goal for which society should strive. Their ideal of 'normal' reflected and helped entrench the dominant white, Anglo-Celtic, patriarchal vision of life. Those who did not fit the model due to skin colour, class, or ethnicity were marginalized or silenced, and, as Gleason's innovative feminist approach emphasizes, whether male or female, simply trying to fit within the prescribed gender roles inevitably led to alienation.This history of psychology and its effects asks new and necessary questions about the role of the social sciences in shaping the private experiences of ordinary Canadians.

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