Runaways: How The Sixties Counterculture Shaped Today's Practices And Policies

Runaways: How The Sixties Counterculture Shaped Today's Practices And Policies

by Karen Staller
Pub. Date:
Columbia University Press

Hardcover - Rent for

Select a Purchase Option (New Edition)
  • purchase options
  • purchase options


Runaways: How The Sixties Counterculture Shaped Today's Practices And Policies

Durgaing the 1960s and 1970s, runaways became a source of national concern in America. Countercultural activists provided support to runaway youth, and private agencies began developing innovative, sometimes controversial programs to serve them. In this multilayered history, Karen M. Staller examines the programs and policies that took shape during this period and the ways in which the ideas of the alternative-services movement continue to guide our responses to at-risk youth.

Staller begins with the 1960s, when the mainstream media began to characterize the act of running away less as an opportunity for exciting adventure (as experienced by Huckleberry Finn) and more as a temptation with dangerous consequences. She then turns to the books, poems, broadsides, and songs produced by Beat writers and countercultural meccas like Haight Ashbury and New York City's East Village, which embraced runaways as kindred social revolutionaries. Adopting the ideology of the Beats, groups like the San Francisco-based Diggers established informal services utilized by runaway adolescents, including crash pads and helplines. Many of their ideas took root, and alternative providers began to bridge the gap between counterculture and mainstream institutions.

Staller concludes with an analysis of how the legislative desire to decriminalize running away, coupled with the judicial system's growing discomfort with policing the moral and civic education of youths, led to an increase in the number of troubled children appearing on the streets. It also prompted the enactment of federal runaway youth legislation, including the Runaway Youth Act of 1974, which endorsed the alternative-service community's model.

By looking at the history of runaways, Staller illuminates how the mainstream media and countercultural ideologies shaped the identity and perception of this social problem and how developments in service and social policy continue to evolve today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231124102
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/27/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Foreword: A Personal Journey to Some Research Questions
1. Testing Freedom: On the Road to a Runaway Problem
Part I: Constructing Runaway Youth
2. Media Myth Spinning: From Runaway Adventurers to Street Survivors (1960-1978)
3. Spinning Myths from Runaway Lives: A Hip Beat Version of Dropping Out
Part II: Psychedelic Social Workers and Alternative Services
4. Digger Free: Power in Autonomy, Independence in a Free City Network (1966-1968)
5. The Grassroots Rise of Alternative Runaway Services (1967-1974)
Part III: Policy and "Runaway" Youth
6. Shifting Institutional Structures: From Moral Guidance to Autonomous Denizens (1960-1978)
7. Legitimization Through Legislation-The Runaway Youth Act: National Attention to the Runaway Problem (1971-1974)
Part IV: Conclusions: Where We've Been, Where We're Going, What We've Learned
8. National Extensions-Problem, Services, and Policy (1974-)
9. Closing Note: Lessons Learned and Conveyed Appendix 1: Runaway Youth Act (Senate Version, S. 2829: the Bayh/Cook Bill)
Appendix 2: Runaway Youth Act (House Version, H. 9298)
Appendix 3: The Runaway Youth Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-415)
Selected Bibliography

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews