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Title: The swarm : children in Chicago, 1890-1933
Author: Kubie, Oenone
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 7902
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Children made up almost half the population of Chicago in the 1890s, and they dominated street spaces in the city for the next forty years. While adults often spent their work and leisure time indoors, huge numbers of mobile and destructive children worked, committed crimes, had sex, and played outside in city spaces. Concerned middle-class adults developed a vast array of institutional and regulatory reforms to get them off the streets. Despite this, we know almost nothing about children's lives outside of schools, homes, and other institutions. This dissertation, The Swarm: Children in Chicago, 1890-1933, seeks to change that. Using Chicago as a case study - after all the city was the home to a host of child-saving institutions like municipal playgrounds and juvenile courts which still shape children's environments - this dissertation tells the forgotten story of this so-called swarm of children. Chicago's mainly working-class, immigrant children shaped the city. They disrupted adult uses of the street and enforced racial segregation. By the 1920s, gangs of school-aged children provided bootleggers with stolen vehicles and a stream of would-be gangsters. The Swarm demonstrates that children outside of institutions, overlooked by even historians of childhood, are key to understanding the history of urbanizing, industrializing America during the long Progressive Era.
Supervisor: Keire, Mara Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available