Description : “Kann's latest tour de force explores the ambivalence, during the founding of our nation, about whether political freedom should augur sexual freedom. Tracing the roots of patriarchal sexual repression back to revolutionary America, Kann asks highly contemporary questions about the boundaries between public and private life, suggesting, provocatively, that political and sexual freedom should go hand in hand. This is a must-read for those interested in the interwining of politics, public life, and sexuality.”—Ben Agger, University of Texas at Arlington The American Revolution was fought in the name of liberty. In popular imagination, the Revolution stands for the triumph of populism and the death of patriarchal elites. But this is not the case, argues Mark E. Kann. Rather, in the aftermath of the Revolution, America developed a society and system of laws that kept patriarchal authority alive and well—especially when it came to the sex lives of citizens. In Taming Passion for the Public Good, Kann contends that that despite the rhetoric of classical liberalism, the founding generation did not trust ordinary citizens with extensive liberty. Through the policing of sex, elites sought to maintain control of individuals' private lives, ensuring that citizens would be productive, moral, and orderly in the new nation. New American elites applauded traditional marriages in which men were the public face of the family and women managed the home. They frowned on interracial and interclass sexual unions. They saw masturbation as evidence of a lack of self-control over one’s passions, and they considered prostitution the result of aggressive female sexuality. Both were punishable offenses. By seeking to police sex, elites were able to keep alive what Kann calls a “resilient patriarchy.” Under the guise of paternalism, they were able simultaneously to retain social control while espousing liberal principles, with the goal of ultimately molding the country into the new American ideal: a moral and orderly citizenry that voluntarily did what was best for the public good.
Description : The California youth corrections system is undergoing the most sweeping transformation in its 154-year history. The extraordinary nature of this change is revealed by the striking decline in the state’s youth incarceration rate. In 1996, with 10,000 youth confined in 11 state-run correctional facilities, California boasted the nation’s third highest youth incarceration rate. Now, with only 800 youth remaining in a system comprised of just three institutions, California has one of the nation’s lowest youth incarceration rate. How did such unprecedented changes occur and what were the crucial conditions that produced them? Daniel E. Macallair answers these questions through an examination of the California youth corrections system’s origins and evolution, and the patterns and practices that ultimately led to its demise. Beginning in the 19th century, California followed national juvenile justice trends by consigning abused, neglected, and delinquent youth to congregate care institutions known as reform schools. These institutions were characterized by their emphasis on regimentation, rigid structure, and harsh discipline. Behind the walls of these institutions, children and youth, who ranged in age from eight to 21, were subjected to unspeakable cruelties. Despite frequent public outcry, life in California reform schools changed little from the opening of the San Francisco Industrial School in 1859 to the dissolution of the California Youth Authority (CYA) in 2005. By embracing popular national trends at various times, California encapsulates much of the history of youth corrections in the United States. The California story is exceptional since the state often assumed a leadership role in adopting innovative policies intended to improve institutional treatment. The California juvenile justice system stands at the threshold of a new era as it transitions from a 19th century state-centered institutional model to a decentralized structure built around localized services delivered at the county level. After the Doors Were Locked is the first to chronicle the unique history of youth corrections and institutional care in California and analyze the origins of today’s reform efforts. This book offers valuable information and guidance to current and future generations of policy makers, administrators, judges, advocates, students and scholars.
Description : 2007 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Although the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City symbolically mark the start of the gay rights movement, individuals came together long before the modern era to express their same-sex romantic and sexual attraction toward one another, and in a myriad of ways. Some reflected on their desires in quiet solitude, while others endured verbal, physical, and legal harassment for publicly expressing homosexual interest through words or actions. Long Before Stonewall seeks to uncover the many iterations of same-sex desire in colonial America and the early Republic, as well as to expand the scope of how we define and recognize homosocial behavior. Thomas A. Foster has assembled a pathbreaking, interdisciplinary collection of original and classic essays that explore topics ranging from homoerotic imagery of black men to prison reform to the development of sexual orientations. This collection spans a regional and temporal breadth that stretches from the colonial Southwest to Quaker communities in New England. It also includes a challenge to commonly accepted understandings of the Native American berdache. Throughout, connections of race, class, status, and gender are emphasized, exposing the deep foundations on which modern sexual political movements and identities are built.