Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in America

Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in America

by Susan Miller
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813540631

ISBN-13: 9780813540634

Pub. Date: 07/28/2007

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

In the early years of the twentieth century, Americans began to recognize adolescence as a developmental phase distinct from both childhood and adulthood. This awareness, however, came fraught with anxiety about the debilitating effects of modern life on adolescents of both sexes. For boys, competitive sports as well as "primitive" outdoor activities

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Overview

In the early years of the twentieth century, Americans began to recognize adolescence as a developmental phase distinct from both childhood and adulthood. This awareness, however, came fraught with anxiety about the debilitating effects of modern life on adolescents of both sexes. For boys, competitive sports as well as "primitive" outdoor activities offered by fledging organizations such as the Boy Scouts would enable them to combat the effeminacy of an overly civilized society. But for girls, the remedy wasn't quite so clear.

Surprisingly, the "girl problem"?a crisis caused by the transition from a sheltered, family-centered Victorian childhood to modern adolescence where self-control and a strong democratic spirit were required of reliable citizens?was also solved by way of traditionally masculine, adventurous, outdoor activities, as practiced by the Girl Scouts, the Camp Fire Girls, and many other similar organizations.

Susan A. Miller explores these girls' organizations that sprung up in the first half of the twentieth century from a socio-historical perspective, showing how the notions of uniform identity, civic duty, "primitive domesticity," and fitness shaped the formation of the modern girl.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813540634
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2007
Series:
Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: What Is the Matter with Jane?     1
Fashioning Girls' Identities     13
"A Splendid Army of Women": Mobilizing Girl Soldiers     48
The Landscape of Camp     83
Naturecraft: Restoring Pioneer Heritage     122
Homecraft: Primitive Maidens and Domestic Pioneers     158
Healthcraft: Measuring the Modern Girl     192
Epilogue: A Tale of Two Girls     221
Notes     231
Bibliography     255
Index     265

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