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Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America"Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930"$
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Benjamin René Jordan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627656

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627656.001.0001

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Mainstreaming White Immigrants and the Industrial Working Class in the BSA

Mainstreaming White Immigrants and the Industrial Working Class in the BSA

(p.155) 5 Mainstreaming White Immigrants and the Industrial Working Class in the BSA
Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America

Benjamin René Jordan

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 5 argues that Boy Scouts of America national leaders worked diligently in the early 1910s to defuse the concerns non-Protestant, working-class, and European immigrant leaders had that the program was a militarist, WASP conversion factory. Labor union officials like Samuel Gompers, Catholic Boy Scout leaders, Mormon Boy Scout leaders, Jewish Boy Scout leaders, and Polish Boy Scout leaders partnered with national and local council officials to establish a growing number of troops which balanced Americanization with the teaching of their respective cultural and religious traditions. Although national Scout policies maintaining the expensive uniform requirement and regular troop meeting format set limits to the number of working class boys who could participate fully in the organization, the Boy Scouts’ proactive incorporation of such groups helped bring them into mainstream culture, thus broadening modern white manhood to include diverse, light-skinned, working-class groups in American society.

Keywords:   European immigrant, Labor union, Working-class, Samuel Gompers, Catholic Boy Scout, Mormon Boy Scout, Jewish Boy Scout, Polish Boy Scout, Americanization, White manhood

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