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Inside the 'blackboard jungle': male teachers and male pupils at English secondary modern schools in fact and fiction, 1950 to 1959

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Tisdall


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The 1950s saw a wave of depictions of threatening male working-class adolescents in English novels, films and cartoons. However, these texts must be contextualised not only as part of the well-documented 1950s moral panic about youth but in relation to the popularized psychological concepts of the ‘normal’ and ‘deviant’ child and the increasing implementation of progressive educational ideas that artificially limited working-class pupils’ horizons. This makes this period not only another reiteration of the perennial moral panics about the rising generation that Geoffrey Pearson has documented, but an emergence of a new way of conceptualizing youth.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tisdall L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cultural and Social History

Year: 2015

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Pages: 489-507

Print publication date: 11/01/2015

Online publication date: 24/03/2016

Acceptance date: 01/11/2013

ISSN (print): 1478-0038

ISSN (electronic): 1478-0046

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14780038.2015.1088265


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