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ERIC Number: EJ820046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 85
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1946
Disciplining Youth, Disciplining Women: Motherhood, Delinquency, and Race in Postwar American Schooling
Kafka, Judith
Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, v44 n3 p197-221 Nov 2008
This article brings together, and builds upon, previous scholarship on juvenile delinquency, motherhood, and education in 1950s America, and explores how the widespread contention that inadequate mothering was responsible for a rise in juvenile crime and social deviance helped shape the organization of schooling in the postwar era. In the first section, the author examines how experts, policymakers, and social commentators either explicitly or implicitly blamed mothers for the so-called youth crisis of the period, and shows that in doing so, they minimized economic and structural explanations for the higher rates of delinquency among poor and minority youth. In the article's second section, the author turns the discussion to the institution of schooling, and demonstrates that in the context of the national delinquency scare, educators in the 1950s increasingly characterized students they deemed difficult to control as suffering from emotional, social, or psychological disorders developed in the home. The author argues that framing student misconduct as evidence of a child's pathology caused by his or her mother served to both justify the removal of a growing number of youth from the classroom and rationalize the fact that a disproportionate number of those youth were from poor and minority homes. (Contains 16 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A