Mothers of All Children Women Reformers and the Rise of Juvenile Courts in Progressive Era America
- List Price: $108.95
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr
- Publish date: 08/01/1998
- ISBN: 9780271017778
- ISBN10: 0271017775
Until recently historians have assumed that men dominated many of the Progressive Era social reforms. Elizabeth Clapp goes beyond simply writing women back into the history of juvenile courts to reveal the complexity of their involvement. Some women operated within nineteenth-century ideals of motherhood and domesticity while others, trained in the social sciences and living in the poor neighborhoods of America's cities, took a more pragmatic approach.
Despite these differences, Clapp finds a common maternalist approach that distinguished women reformers from their male counterparts. Women were more willing to use the state to deal with wayward children, whereas men were more commonly involved as supporters of women reformers' initiatives rather than being themselves the initiators of reform.
Firmly located in the context of recent scholarship on American women's history, Mothers of All Children as broad implications for American women's political history and the history of the welfare state.