Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920
by David Macleod
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 Cloth: 978-0-299-09400-3 | Paper: 978-0-299-09404-1
ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK 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.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY 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.
"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
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Anxious Adults Confront a Changing World of Boyhood
Growing Up: Boyhood, Social Class, and Social Change
Character Building: Adult Ambitions and Concerns
Nineteenth-Century Beginnings: Early Forms of Boys' Work
Keeping Lower-Class Boys Off the Streets: The Mass Boys' Clubs
Shielding and Strengthening the Middle Class: The Start of YMCA Junior Departments
Forerunners of Scouting: Temperance Orders and the Boys' Brigades
Reorientation and New Forms of Organization, 1900–1920
Adolescence and Gang-Age Boyhood: An Ideology for Character Building
The Attempted Professionalization of YMCA Boys' Work
The Invention of Boy Scouting
The Organization and Expansion of the Boy Scouts of America
Winning Public Favor and Building a Constituency
Boyhood, God, and Country: Creation and Defense of a Public Image
Winning Institutional Support and Volunteer Leaders
Recruiting a “Fine Lot of Lads”
Character Building in Practice
Camping: An Organized Setting for the New Boyhood
Adult Instruction and Boys' Responses
Group Experience, Membership Turnover, and Age Stratification
Conclusion and Epilogue
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