The science of childhood and the pedagogy of the state: Postcolonial development in India, 1950s

1Citations
Citations of this article
23Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

This article examines how, in the decade following India's independence, the psychology of childhood became a locus of experimentation, and an avenue through which approaches to postcolonial development were expressed. Tracing the ideas of educational reformers, psychological researchers and child welfare advocates, we show how a ‘science of childhood’ in this period emphasised both the inherent potential and the emotional complexity of India's young citizens. However, while identifying this potential, these actors at times circumscribed it by deploying culturalist assumptions about Indian childhood that were linked to a teleology of the new nation state. These were ideas that shaped a ‘pedagogic’ approach to postcolonial modernisation. Nation-building was not just a technocratic undertaking, but an educative project that was scientific, spiritual, and therapeutic in orientation. The article argues for greater attention to the pedagogy of the state in analyses of past and present state-citizen relations.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Sriprakash, A., Sutoris, P., & Myers, K. (2019). The science of childhood and the pedagogy of the state: Postcolonial development in India, 1950s. Journal of Historical Sociology, 32(3), 345–359. https://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12246

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free