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Youth, leisure and identity in the inter-war years
Author: Melanie Tebbutt

This original and fresh approach to the emotions of adolescence focuses on the leisure lives of working-class boys and young men in the inter-war years. Being Boys challenges many stereotypes about their behaviour. It offers new perspectives on familiar and important themes in interwar social and cultural history, ranging from the cinema and mass consumption to boys' clubs, personal advice pages, street cultures, dancing, sexuality, mobility and the body. It draws on many autobiographies and personal accounts and is particularly distinctive in offering an unusual insight into working-class adolescence through the teenage diaries of the author's father, which are interwoven with the book's broader analysis of contemporary leisure developments. Being Boys will be of interest to scholars and students across the humanities and social sciences and is also relevant to those teaching and studying in the fields of child development, education, and youth and community studies.

Melanie Tebbutt

2 Ordinary boys and masculine men T he First World War significantly compromised pre-war expectations of ‘being a boy’, particularly in relation to militarism and the jingoistic expectations of youthful masculinity. Youth movements were forced to adapt to these post-war sentiments, and non-militarised youth bodies such as boys’ clubs benefited from the anti-militaristic sentiments of the early 1920s, just as their non-military associations gave them an advantage in the distressed areas where many such clubs were established in the 1930s. The views of those in

in Being boys
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Schools and the Republic of Letters in early modern Germany
Author: Alan S. Ross

In the majority of German towns, access to learned culture was provided not through universities, academies or princely courts, but through Latin schools, the German equivalent to English grammar schools. This book is the first in-depth study of a footsoldier of the seventeenth-century German Republic of Letters. Its subject, the polymath and schoolteacher Christian Daum established himself as a scholar by focusing on how he convinced others that he was one. He did so through his dress, the way he conducted his married life and the ideal of scholarship to which he ascribed. Schools in the German culture, were focal points of Lutheran learning outside of universities and courts, as places not just of education but of intense scholarship. The most influential paradigm concerning German education remains Gerald Strauss' concept of an 'indoctrination of the young', where he argued that reformers had been able to restructure Lutheran schooling to suit their doctrinal purposes. In the seventeenth century, the Lutheran territories of the Holy Roman Empire saw a flood of publications on pedagogical method and matters of education in general. The book examines the changes that the Zwickau curriculum underwent in the seventeenth century. Anthony La Vopa's seminal study on poor students and clerical careers in eighteenth-century Germany raised important questions on social mobility through education. Christian Daum's network of correspondents was an instrument for maintaining and expanding his position within the Respublica litteraria. Teacher-scholars like Daum expressed a sense of mission towards the cause of humanist education and scholarship.

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Melanie Tebbutt

working-class young boys and young men had for a number of influential middle-class youth workers who were also war veterans.2 It takes as its subject the writings of several leading boys’ club workers who were based in London. These works were published in the early 1930s and have often been cited in histories of inter-war youth culture, although with little explanation of the background and experiences which informed them. The chapter argues that shared war-time experiences had an important effect on how these writers conceptualised their relationships with the

in Being boys
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Melanie Tebbutt

’ her respondents ‘at some point’ organised their accounts topographically as the ‘walk along familiar remembered streets of childhood’ was ‘re-enacted again and again implicitly or explicitly in . . . in memory talk’.4 Negotiating the spaces of neighbourhood and locality played an important part in the upbringing of working-class boys and young men, for whom these local landscapes were integral to their sense of identity and belonging.5 Many club leaders recognised the importance of understanding the local geographies with which their young members were familiar

in Being boys
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Melanie Tebbutt

deeper and more extended examination, by addressing such questions through letters from young men in their teens and twenties that were published in the advice pages of popular newspapers and magazines. Both the letters and the advice subtly shaped the ‘acceptability’ of particular discourses of male behaviour, yet • TEBBUTT 9780719066139 PRINT.indd 169 169 • 06/02/2012 15:00 being boys should not be judged purely in these terms.6 Not only was there a degree of interaction between the advice page and its correspondents, but the thousands of letters columnists

in Being boys
Melanie Tebbutt

how commemorative art publicly memorialised the fallen. The authorities were reluctant to condone public imagery which presented the working-class soldier as powerful and commanding. The sentimentalised figure of the soldier-martyr consequently embodied an unthreatening notion of pacified masculinity which both contained and denied the horrific consequences of war; simplified dichotomies of the soldier as pitiable victim and as idealised hero which also had implications for how the masculine ‘authenticity’ and potential of working-class boys and young men were

in Being boys
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Melanie Tebbutt

life and as a leisure activity with cross-generational appeal. By the 1930s, dancing was popular among people of all ages, but its considerable significance among young people made it second in popularity to the cinema, and often more popular by the time they entered their late teens.1 This was especially the case among girls and young women, who tended to become involved earlier than boys, when they were 13 or 14, and who enthused about its fashions and dance bands in much the same way that boys did about sport.2 Young women’s relationship with dancing has

in Being boys
Patrick A. Dunae

be so much borne in mind as that the large part of the great multitude that sustains the teller and publisher of tales is constituted by boys and girls … The literature, as it may be called for convenience, of children is an industry that occupies by itself a considerable quarter of the scene. Great fortunes, if not great reputations, are made by writing for

in Imperialism and juvenile literature
Imperialism and race in the Harmsworths’ halfpenny boys’ papers of the 1890s and 1900s
John Springhall

‘Looking back nearly fifty years to what the people read’, wrote Frederick Willis in 101 Jubilee Road , his 1948 memoir of working-class life in London, ‘the first periodicals that come to my mind are the working boys’ books, Pluck, Halfpenny Marvel , (and) Union

in Imperialism and juvenile literature