Ordinary boys and masculine men
in Being boys
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Chapter 2 develops the themes of working-class boys andmasculine expectations by examining the inter-war expansion of boys' clubs, which were significantly influenced by the determination to create a movement whose unifying mission was to turn ‘ordinary’ boys into ‘masculine men’. Within the movement, understanding and empathy for their working-class members combined with a desire to reinvigorate masculine values. This shaped a mission whose resonance had broader national implications, given that this ‘most truly working-class youth institution in terms of clientele’ had an authority beyond its size, with many influential supporters contributing to educational and social welfare policy for adolescent males, locally and nationally.

Being boys

Youth, leisure and identity in the inter-war years

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