Popular education and hygiene propaganda: Paolo Mantegazza and the scientific pedagogy of his almanacs
Keywords:Paolo Mantegazza, popular education, Positivism, Scientific Pedagogy, sex education
The present paper aims at providing a portrait of Paolo Mantegazza as educator and hygienist. With the publication of his popular almanacs on hygiene, that started in 1866, and following the precepts of what we might call "scientific pedagogy", Mantegazza tried to provide the Italian people with a set of sanitary norms concerning both personal hygiene and personal behavior. In so doing he wanted to educate the Italians introducing them to good manners, exactly when Italy had acquired its political unity. In the first paragraph, I have considered Mantegazza's works in the specific cultural and historical context of that period and taking into account the role played by the main Italian publishers in contributing to the cultural unification of the country. In the second paragraph, quoting from significant passages from Mantegazza's works, I have tried to solve the ambiguity concerning the public Mantegazza's pedagogical and hygienic almanacs were addressed to. In conclusion, providing an analysis of Mantegazzia's works, I have traced back the connection Mantegazza made between individual education, domestic education and, on a larger scale, social education.
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