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Forgotten Men and Fallen WomenThe Cultural Politics of New Deal Narratives$
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Holly Allen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453571.001.0001

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“Builder of Men”

“Builder of Men”

Homosociality and the Nationalist Accents of the Civilian Conservation Corps

Chapter:
(p.68) Chapter 3 “Builder of Men”
Source:
Forgotten Men and Fallen Women
Author(s):

Holly Allen

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453571.003.0004

This chapter examines how the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the New Deal's most popular relief agency, served as a staging ground for broader anxieties about homosociality that animated many facets of national culture in the Great Depression. It considers how New Deal administrators restored white male breadwinners to civic and familial respectability at the expense of transients, who figured in the narrative of intergenerational transient perversion. It also analyzes why erotically charged representations of CCC youth were so popular given the concern about the improper homosociality of the working-class bachelor subculture in the 1930s. Finally, it discusses the ways that New Deal officials appropriated the narrative of wandering youth, the relation of gender and sexuality to the unequal terms of citizenship and nationality in the emergent welfare state, and the racial dimensions of New Deal social citizenship.

Keywords:   homosociality, Civilian Conservation Corps, New Deal, transients, bachelor subculture, wandering youth, sexuality, nationality, welfare state, social citizenship

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