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Urban Schools and the Protection and Promotion of Child Health, 1870-1930
Classrooms and Clinics is the first book-length assessment of the development of public school health policies from the late nineteenth century through the early years of the Great Depression. Richard A. Meckel examines the efforts of early twentieth-century child health care advocates and reformers to utilize urban schools to deliver health care services to socioeconomically disadvantaged and medically underserved children in the primary grades. Their goal, Meckel shows, was to improve the children’s health and thereby improve their academic performance.
Meckel situates these efforts within a larger late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public discourse relating schools and schooling, especially in cities and towns, to child health. He describes and explains how that discourse and the school hygiene movement it inspired served as critical sites for the constructive negotiation of the nature and extent of the public school’s—and by extension the state’s—responsibility for protecting and promoting the physical and mental health of the children for whom it was providing a compulsory education.
Tracing the evolution of that negotiation through four overlapping stages, Meckel shows how, why, and by whom the health of schoolchildren was discursively constructed as a sociomedical problem and charts and explains the changes that construction underwent over time. He also connects the changes in problem construction to the design and implementation of various interventions and services and evaluates how that design and implementation were affected by the response of the civic, parental, professional, educational, public health, and social welfare groups that considered themselves stakeholders and took part in the discourse. And, most significantly, he examines the responses called forth by the question at the heart of the negotiations: what services are necessitated by the state’s and school’s taking responsibility for protecting and promoting the health and physical and mental development of schoolchildren. He concludes that the negotiations resulted both in the partial medicalization of American primary education and in the articulation and adoption of a school health policy that accepted the school’s responsibility for protecting and promoting the health of its students while largely limiting the services called for to the preventive and educational.
Movies, Marketing, and the Transformation of Childhood
Since the 1980s, a peculiar paradox has evolved in American film. Hollywood’s children have grown up, and the adults are looking and behaving more and more like children. In popular films such as Harry Potter, Toy Story, Pocahantas, Home Alone, and Jumanji, it is the children who are clever, savvy, and self-sufficient while the adults are often portrayed as bumbling and ineffective.
Is this transformation of children into "little adults" an invention of Hollywood or a product of changing cultural definitions more broadly? In Coining for Capital, Jyostna Kapur explores the evolution of the concept of childhood from its portrayal in the eighteenth century as a pure, innocent, and idyllic state—the opposite of adulthood—to its expression today as a mere variation of adulthood, complete with characteristics of sophistication, temptation, and corruption. Kapur argues that this change in definition is not a media effect, but rather a structural feature of a deeply consumer-driven society.
Providing a new and timely perspective on the current widespread alarm over the loss of childhood, Coining for Capital concludes that our present moment is in fact one of hope and despair. As children are fortunately shedding false definitions of proscribed innocence both in film and in life, they must now also learn to navigate a deeply inequitable, antagonistic, and consumer-driven society of which they are both a part and a target.
Cultural Literacy and Female Identity, 1940-1960
In the popular imagination, American women during the time between the end of World War II and the 1960s—the era of the so-called “feminine mystique”—were ultraconservative and passive. College Women in the Nuclear Age takes a fresh look at these women, showing them actively searching for their place in the world while engaging with the larger intellectual and political movements of the times.
Drawing from the letters and diaries of young women in the Cold War era, Babette Faehmel seeks to restore their unique voices and to chronicle their collective ambitions. She also explores the shifting roles that higher education played in establishing these hopes and dreams, making the case that the GI Bill served to diminish the ambitions of many American women even as it opened opportunities for many American men. A treasure-trove of original research, the book should stimulate scholarly discussion and captivate any reader interested in the thoughts and lives of American women.
Comedy: American Style, Jessie Redmon Fauset's fourth and final novel, recounts the tragic tale of a family's destructionùthe story of a mother who denies her clan its heritage. Originally published in 1933, this intense narrative stands the test of time and continues to raise compelling, disturbing, and still contemporary themes of color prejudice and racial self-hatred. Cherene Sherrard-Johnson's introduction places this classic in both the new modernist and transatlantic contexts and will be embraced by those interested in early twentieth-century women writers, novels about passing, the Harlem Renaissance, the black/white divide, and diaspora studies.
A Movement and the People Who Made It Happen
With a strong emphasis on cultural relevance and humility, this collection offers a wealth of case studies in areas ranging from childhood obesity to immigrant worker rights to health care reform. A “tool kit” of appendixes includes guidelines for assessing coalition effectiveness, exercises for critical reflection on our own power and privilege, and training tools such as “policy bingo.” From former organizer and now President Barack Obama to academics and professionals in the fields of public health, social work, urban planning, and community psychology, the book offers a comprehensive vision and on-the-ground examples of the many ways community building and organizing can help us address some of the most intractable health and social problems of our times.
A Year in the Life of Unit C
To date, knowledge of the everyday world of the juvenile correction institution has been extremely sparse. Compassionate Confinement brings to light the challenges and complexities inherent in the U.S. system of juvenile corrections. Building on over a year of field work at a boys’ residential facility, Laura S. Abrams and Ben Anderson-Nathe provide a context for contemporary institutions and highlight some of the system’s most troubling tensions.
This ethnographic text utilizes narratives, observations, and case examples to illustrate the strain between treatment and correctional paradigms and the mixed messages regarding gender identity and masculinity that the youths are expected to navigate. Within this context, the authors use the boys’ stories to show various and unexpected pathways toward behavior change. While some residents clearly seized opportunities for self-transformation, others manipulated their way toward release, and faced substantial challenges when they returned home.
Compassionate Confinement concludes with recommendations for rehabilitating this notoriously troubled system in light of the experiences of its most vulnerable stakeholders.
Ethnographic Research at the Social Margins
Comprehending Drug Use, the first full-length critical overview of the use of ethnographic methods in drug research, synthesizes more than one hundred years of study on the human encounter with psychotropic drugs. It provides an examination of the field of drug ethnography-methodology that involves access to the hidden world of drug users, the social spaces they frequent, and the larger structural forces that help construct their worlds; explores intersections of drug ethnography with globalization, criminalization, public health (including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, hepatitis, and other diseases), and gender; and provides a guide of the methods and career paths of ethnographers.
U.S. Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home
Racism and Civil Rights in a Southern Military City
Connecting economic and social reforms to racial and class inequality, Conjuring Crisis counters the myth of steady race progress in America by analyzing how the federal government and local politicians have sometimes "reformed" politics in ways that have amplified racism in the post civil-rights era. George Baca's ethnographic research reveals how residents and politicians at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, North Carolina in the 1990s transformed an ordinary conflict into a "crisis" that raised the specter of chaos and disaster. He explores new territory by focusing on the broader intersection of militarization, urban politics, and civil rights.