The Intersection Of Femininity And Masculinity Symbolically Materialized By Team Games For Boys In Historic Playgrounds

Author(s): Suzanne Spencer-Wood

Year: 2016

Summary

Early-twentieth-century American reformers aimed to teach boys a feminized form of masculinity that was symbolized and materialized in supervised team games on playground ballfield landscapes. Organized play expressed new conceptions of childhood in a sequence of stages. Reformers organized team games to modify capitalist masculinity with what were considered feminine moral values of cooperation, fairness, and individual self-sacrifice for the greater good. Women became identified with these and other Christian values as men were drawn away from churches by the conflicting, self-centered, competitive values of capitalism, which promoted the Biblical sins of usury, price gouging, and exploitation of labor. Women upheld the republican values and virtues considered fundamental for male citizenship in a democracy that counterbalanced capitalism. The historical development over 200 years of the dominant belief in women’s higher morality, followed by the intersection of this form of femininity with capitalist masculinity, contributes historical insights enhancing masculinity theory.

Cite this Record

The Intersection Of Femininity And Masculinity Symbolically Materialized By Team Games For Boys In Historic Playgrounds. Suzanne Spencer-Wood. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434568)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 577