By J. Hoegaerts

A historical past of what it intended to be a guy, and a citizen of an rising country in the course of the 19th century. This booklet not just relates how Belgians have been taught how one can movement and struggle, but in addition how they spoke and sang to specific masculinity and patriotism.

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Extra info for Masculinity and Nationhood, 1830–1910: Constructions of Identity and Citizenship in Belgium

Sample text

Usually, boys and girls were temporarily taught together, but teachers tried to avoid contact between the sexes. In 1839, the lack of space in an inner-city primary school had been countered by a timetable by which boys and girls alternately occupied the building. 72 A larger school building was clearly needed. 73 The autonomy of each ‘wing’ was never entirely clear: although both sections were frequently referred to as separate schools, the organisation of the schools’ management could be open to debate.

In a poem entitled ‘The inceptive pupil’, the educational 38 Spaces goal of schooling in general, and of the manual in particular was laid out: I’m just eight years old and can already read without fault the teacher says ‘come I am much satisfied my boy! 88 While the poem referred to the child’s father as the example to be imitated, it is the teacher who assumes the fatherly role of evaluating the child’s behaviour and voicing his approval. The ultimate goal of the child’s imitative behaviour and the teacher’s encouragement, according to the poem, is to turn the 8 year-old boy into a man.

1 Model of a school bench, 1865. Model-plans for seats were issued by the Ministry for Education in which all measurements were given, alongside the design. The benches ‘grew’ with the children: designs for older children slightly larger than those for the youngest. Some schools also ordered specific seats for girls, which provided space for needle-work or even a sewing machine. , Inv. nr. 71 The schools’ borders were not only frequently crossed by rebellious children, but also by parents questioning the disciplinary regime, by detrimental miasmas and habits from the street, or by inappropriate sounds and sights from outside.

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