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On My Honor : Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth

By: Mechling, Jay.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (352 p.).ISBN: 9780226517032.Subject(s): Boy Scouts -- United States | Boy Scouts of America | Boys -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: On My Honor : Boy Scouts and the Making of American YouthDDC classification: 369 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
C O N T E N T S -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- DAY 1: Sunday -- Excursus: The ''Problem'' of God in the Boy Scouts -- DAY 2: Monday -- DAY 3: Tuesday -- DAY 4: Wednesday -- DAY 5: Thursday -- DAY 6: Friday -- DAYS 7 & 8: Saturday & Sunday -- DAY 9: Monday -- DAY 10: Tuesday -- EXCURSUS: The Two Bodies at a Boy Scout Camp -- EXCURSUS: The ''Problem'' of Gays and Girls in the Boy Scouts -- DAY 11: Wednesday -- DAY 12: Thursday -- THE FINAL WEEKEND -- Epilogue -- Methodology Appendix -- Notes -- Index
Summary: In a timely contribution to current debates over the psychology of boys and the construction of their social lives, On My Honor explores the folk customs of adolescent males in the Boy Scouts of America during a summer encampment in California's Sierra Nevada. Drawing on more than twenty years of research and extensive visits and interviews with members of the troop, Mechling uncovers the key rituals and play events through which the Boy Scouts shapes boys into men. He describes the campfire songs, initiation rites, games, and activities that are used to mold the Scouts into responsible adults
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C O N T E N T S -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- DAY 1: Sunday -- Excursus: The ''Problem'' of God in the Boy Scouts -- DAY 2: Monday -- DAY 3: Tuesday -- DAY 4: Wednesday -- DAY 5: Thursday -- DAY 6: Friday -- DAYS 7 & 8: Saturday & Sunday -- DAY 9: Monday -- DAY 10: Tuesday -- EXCURSUS: The Two Bodies at a Boy Scout Camp -- EXCURSUS: The ''Problem'' of Gays and Girls in the Boy Scouts -- DAY 11: Wednesday -- DAY 12: Thursday -- THE FINAL WEEKEND -- Epilogue -- Methodology Appendix -- Notes -- Index

In a timely contribution to current debates over the psychology of boys and the construction of their social lives, On My Honor explores the folk customs of adolescent males in the Boy Scouts of America during a summer encampment in California's Sierra Nevada. Drawing on more than twenty years of research and extensive visits and interviews with members of the troop, Mechling uncovers the key rituals and play events through which the Boy Scouts shapes boys into men. He describes the campfire songs, initiation rites, games, and activities that are used to mold the Scouts into responsible adults

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Mechling (American studies, Univ. of California, Davis) condenses 20 years of research on Boy Scout Troop 49 into an account of one two-week encampment in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. He examines the Scouts' recent problems with the "three Gs"-God (should atheists be admitted to the Scouts?), girls (should young women be admitted?), and gays (should openly gay Scouts and Scoutmasters be admitted?)-and delves into how the Scouts attempt to mold boys into heterosexual men. Some readers will find his highly psychoanalytic interpretations hard trekking-seeing cans of Coca-Cola as symbols for feces seems to be pushing the envelope a bit. Others might react negatively to his observation that in order to create the heterosexual male the Scouts instill unhealthy doses of misogyny and homophobia. And still others will blanch upon hearing that the Scout camp emulates a huge, outdoor, boys' locker room, complete with raw language, bawdy jokes and songs, and fixations on flatulence and females. Mechling feels that there is much good to be said about the Boy Scouts, but after reading this study readers might have their doubts. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.-Jim Burns, Ottumwa P.L., IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Writing from an insider's viewpoint as an Eagle Scout as well as a knowledgeabe student of cultural theory, Mechling (American studies, Univ. of California, Davis) attempts the difficult task of describing both the real experience of a Boy Scout troop and the deeper meaning of the organization's social function. At times the resulting narrative can be jarring, shifting quickly from the often-mundane details of camp life to deep readings of everything from play activity to attitudes toward defecation. For the patient reader, however, the book offers a sensitively developed argument. Established in 1910 in an effort to respond to a perceived crisis in masculinity, the Boy Scouts of America encountered a similar challenge at the end of the 20th century, when the assumption that the normative male model had to be heterosexual came unglued. Arguing that masculinity is socially constructed, Mechling challenges the organization's highly publicized stand against gay membership, pointing to a healthy exploration of different elements of masculine performance observed in his fieldwork. More than just an affirmation that the Boy Scouts can still play a positive role in shepherding adolescents to manhood in the 21st century, Mechling's study offers many insights into the importance of gender in defining cultural practice. General collections, graduate students, and faculty. H. Gillette Jr. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jay Mechling is professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis.

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