By Edith Wharton
Essays in regards to the French and their tradition written in the course of global warfare I.
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Thinking historically also led to substantial amounts of history ‘from below’ where ordinary citizens were asked to narrate their memories. Again, this tradition was not new but the volume of it was and its presence in public discussion raised questions about upbringing and about relationships, which caused a greater strength of feeling about collective responsibilities for the welfare of others. The political consequences were ambiguous, as might be expected, as popular history can be used either to say how much better things were in the past or to say that governments have done a good job in removing some of the evils of the past.
His most effective summary of his belief that children should always remain with a primary loving care-giver, especially in infancy, was the Penguin book he produced from his UNESCO study of twenty-four-hour nurseries for the children of war workers, evocatively titled Child Care and the Growth of Love. ’15 The children’s department of the Home Office was headed by one of the first psychiatric social workers who had worked in child guidance before the war, Sybil Clement Brown, and she too was motivated by the same assumptions about the need to support families rather than provide alternative institutional places for children in difficulties.
Holidays kept people in touch, and the practice of regular family reunions at Christmas became general. Internal migration was less intrusive than in Italy as the telephone spread and rehousing tended to take families about twenty miles away from their original place of residence, rather than across the whole country. The workplace was already much more structurally separate from the home and there were fewer family enterprises. Immigration affected ideas of family life in various ways, as different groups settled in different styles of family life and household.