Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920

Overview

Among established American institutions, few have been more successful or paradoxical than the Boy Scouts of America. David Macleod traces the social history of America in this scholarly account of the origins of the Boy Scouts and other character-building agencies, through which adults tried to restructure middle-class boyhood.

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Overview

Among established American institutions, few have been more successful or paradoxical than the Boy Scouts of America. David Macleod traces the social history of America in this scholarly account of the origins of the Boy Scouts and other character-building agencies, through which adults tried to restructure middle-class boyhood.

Back in print; First paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A social history that goes well beyond its immediate subject to be a contribution to our understanding of turn-of-the-century education, male sex roles, and middle-class development."—American Journal of Education

“Far more than a narrow description of boys' work agencies from 1870-1920, this book illuminates, with rich, carefully hewn detail, important features of the social, structural, and cultural landscape of that era.  .  .  .  Scholars with an interest in character and social structure will find much of value in this book.”—John F. Stolte, Sociology and Social Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299094041
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David I. Macleod, professor of history at Central Michigan University, was involved with the Boy Scouts from ages eight through twenty. He is author of The Age of the Child: Children in American 1890–1920.

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Table of Contents

1 Growing up : boyhood, social class, and social change 3
2 Character building : adult ambitions and concerns 29
3 Keeping lower-class boys off the streets : the mass boys' clubs 63
4 Shielding and strengthening the middle class : the start of YMCA junior departments 72
5 Forerunners of scouting : temperance orders and the boys' brigades 83
6 Adolescence and gang-age boyhood : an ideology for character building 97
7 The attempted professionalization of YMCA boys' work 117
8 The invention of boy scouting 130
9 The organization and expansion of the Boy Scouts of America 146
10 Boyhood, God, and country : creation and defense of a public image 171
11 Winning institutional support and volunteer leaders 188
12 Recruiting a "fine lot of lads" 212
13 Camping : an organized setting for the new boyhood 233
14 Adult instruction and boys' responses 248
15 Group experience, memebership turnover, and age stratification 268
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