EPAMillsAccepted.pdf (806.69 kB)
0/0

Youth on streets and bob-a-job week: urban geographies of masculinity, risk, and home in postwar Britain

Download (806.69 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2014 by Sarah Mills
After World War Two, youth in Britain was constructed as unruly, troublesome, and deviant, particularly in public urban space and streets. However, not all children and young people were discouraged from entering these environments or engaging with the general public. Drawing from literature published by the Boy Scout Association and a case study of Bob-a-Job Week in Britain launched in 1949, I examine the institutional geographies of responsibility, risk, and reward embedded in this youth activity, orchestrated by the most popular youth organisation in Britain. This fundraising scheme involved Boy Scouts completing domestic tasks for householders and encouraged uniformed youth to be visible, proficient, and useful. Significantly, this also took place in largely urban areas- complicating our understanding of scouting as an idealised 'rural' practice with camping as its central activity. Furthermore, this paper explores how this fundraising spectacle also functioned as a hybrid space that permitted 'feminine' domestic tasks as appropriate for 'British boyhood' until the scheme's eventual demise in the 1990s. Overall, the complex geographies of Bob-a-Job Week reveal how this organisation negotiated the boundaries between domestic and public space, providing an insight into broader constructions of youth and gender in the postwar period.

Funding

Thanks are extended to the staff at the Scout Association Archives, Gilwell Park, Essex, UK and to the ESRC [grant number ES/F00737X/1].

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

MILLS, S., 2014. Youth on streets and bob-a-job week: urban geographies of masculinity, risk, and home in postwar Britain. Environment and Planning A, 46 (1), pp.112-128.

Publisher

© Pion

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2014

Notes

The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning A, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a45400

ISSN

0308-518X

eISSN

1472-3409

Language

en

Exports

Logo branding

Keyword(s)

Exports