Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in America (Google eBook)
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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Review: Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in AmericaUser Review - Sarah Peters - Goodreads
Fascinating and engaging history of the gender politics involved in the scouting and camping movements, especially how adults were invested in creating organizations to shape the identity of "the American girl" and what the girls themselves did with those programs. Loved it! Read full review
Review: Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in AmericaUser Review - Goodreads
Source: Slate article on the Girl Scouts Library: ebook through Arlington
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