Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale

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U of Minnesota Press, 2004 - 253 pages
Will boys be boys? What are little boys made of? Kenneth B. Kidd responds to these familiar questions with a thorough review of boy culture in America since the late nineteenth century. From the "boy work" promoted by character-building organizations such as Scouting and 4-H to current therapeutic and pop psychological obsessions with children's self-esteem, Kidd presents the great variety of cultural influences on the changing notion of boyhood. Analyzing icons of boyhood and maleness from Huck Finn and The Jungle Book's Mowgli to Father Flanagan's Boys Town and even Michael Jackson, Kidd surveys films, psychoanalytic case studies, parenting manuals, historical accounts of the discoveries of "wolf-boys," and self-help books to provide a rigorous history of what it has meant to be an all-American boy.
 

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Contents

An Introduction
1
1 Farming for Boys
23
2 Bad Boys and Men of Culture
49
3 WolfBoys Street Rats and the Vanishing Sioux
87
4 Father Flanagans Boys Town
111
5 From Freuds Wolf Man to Teen Wolf
135
6 Reinventing the Boy Problem
167
Notes
191
Works Cited
221
Index
237
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Kenneth B. Kidd is associate professor of English at the University of Florida and associate director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture.

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