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Babysitter: An American History ebook

by Miriam Forman-Brunell


Babysitter: An American History gives us a welcome look at the subculture of babysitting in the United States.

Babysitter: An American History gives us a welcome look at the subculture of babysitting in the United States. When you peruse the extensive notes and bibliography, it's not surprising that the book has taken nearly two decades to complete (Forman-Brunell began her project in the early 1990's). Forman-Brunell explores the cultural complaints and depictions of teenage babysitters as hormone crazed eating machines wreaking havoc to the more nuanced view of them as budding entrepreneurs.

In Babysitter, Miriam Forman-Brunell brin On Friday nights many parents want to have a little fun together-without the kids. But "getting a sitter"-especially a dependable one-rarely seems trouble-free. Forman-Brunell shows that beyond the mundane, understandable apprehensions stirred by hiring a caretaker to "mind the children" in one's own home, babysitters became lightning rods for society's larger fears about gender and generational change. In the end, experts' efforts to tame teenage girls with training courses, handbooks, and other texts failed to prevent generations from turning their backs on babysitting.

This paper provides an introduction to social science and historical materials on Asian Americans.

InBabysitter, Miriam Forman-Brunell brings critical attention to the ubiquitous, yet long-overlooked babysitter in the popular imagination and American history.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-305) and index

Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-305) and index. The beginnings of babysitting - Suburban parents and sitter unions - The bobby-soxer babysitter - Making better babysitters - Boisterous babysitters - Vixens and victims : porn and horror - Sisterhoods of sitters - Coming of wage at the end of the century - Quitter sitters : the fall of babysitting. In Babysitter, Miriam Forman-Brunell brings critical attention to the ubiquitous, yet long-overlooked babysitter in the popular imagination and American history. from publisher description.

Miriam Forman-Brunell, for example, wrote a book called Babysitter: An American History, during which she talked about how the rise of the babysitter coincided with the rise of the teenage girl as a cultural phenomenon (in this case, she actually dates babysitting back to the 1920s.

Miriam Forman-Brunell, for example, wrote a book called Babysitter: An American History, during which she talked about how the rise of the babysitter coincided with the rise of the teenage girl as a cultural phenomenon (in this case, she actually dates babysitting back to the 1920s, which admittedly, is when some parts of suburban America started to emerge). What do babysitting and being a teenage girl have in common? Babysitting was seen as a compromise between teenage girls’ desire for personal freedom and adults’ expectations that they stay close to home.

Miriam Forman-Brunell, Babysitter: An American History (2009). Miriam Forman-Brunell. Babysitter: An American History. New York University Press, June, 2009. from English dictionary. "Toddler Developmental Milestones". The dictionary definition of babysitting at Wiktionary. Babysitting courses provided by the American Red Cross. YourChild: Babysitter Safety University of Michigan Health System. A guide to the business of babysitting in the United States.

Babysitter: An American History. Contributors are Carol Devens, Miriam Forman-Brunell, Jane H. Hunter, Anya Jabour, Anne Scott MacLeod, Susan McCully, Mary Niall Mitchell, Leslie Paris, Barbara Sicherman, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg. More). The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America.

In her new book, Babysitter: An American History, MIRIAM FORMAN-BRUNELL explores the popular depiction of teen-age babysitters ?? and why that image instills fears in parents everywhere. Finding a dependable babysitter isn??t easy. But then again, it never was. In her new book, Babysitter: An American History, MIRIAM FORMAN-BRUNELL explores the popular depiction of teen-age babysitters ?? and why that image instills fears in parents everywhere.

On Friday nights many parents want to have a little fun together—without the kids. But “getting a sitter”—especially a dependable one—rarely seems trouble-free. Will the kids be safe with “that girl”? It’s a question that discomfited parents have been asking ever since the emergence of the modern American teenage girl nearly a century ago. In Babysitter, Miriam Forman-Brunell brings critical attention to the ubiquitous, yet long-overlooked babysitter in the popular imagination and American history.

Informed by her research on the history of teenage girls’ culture, Forman-Brunell analyzes the babysitter, who has embodied adults’ fundamental apprehensions about girls’ pursuit of autonomy and empowerment. In fact, the grievances go both ways, as girls have been distressed by unsatisfactory working conditions. In her quest to gain a fuller picture of this largely unexamined cultural phenomenon, Forman-Brunell analyzes a wealth of diverse sources, such as The Baby-sitter’s Club book series, horror movies like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, urban legends, magazines, newspapers, television shows, pornography, and more.

Forman-Brunell shows that beyond the mundane, understandable apprehensions stirred by hiring a caretaker to “mind the children” in one’s own home, babysitters became lightning rods for society’s larger fears about gender and generational change. In the end, experts’ efforts to tame teenage girls with training courses, handbooks, and other texts failed to prevent generations from turning their backs on babysitting.

Malara
Well researched and engaging to read. I am writing a babysitting curriculum and found this book very useful. I highly recommend it as the only one of its kind as far as I know.
Bandiri
From the beginnings of babysitting to the fall of babysitting, Miriam Forman-Brunell has produced a sweeping history of the practice not chronicled elsewhere. Babysitter: An American History gives us a welcome look at the subculture of babysitting in the United States. When you peruse the extensive notes and bibliography, it's not surprising that the book has taken nearly two decades to complete (Forman-Brunell began her project in the early 1990's). While the book covers the 20th century, with emphasis on the 1950s through the 1980s, we are reminded of previous generations (including Puritans, enslaved African Americans, and urban working-class children) charged with babysitting as their duty without the benefit of payment.

Readers will find the book full of curious bits of observations and facts about American popular culture as it relates to babysitting. For instance, poet, Sylvia Plath, at age fourteen, wrote about her first experience babysitting in a paper for an English class. The two boys demanded she read aloud story after story, jumped on top of her, playing "kill the bear," and the popcorn she was making caught fire. Plath concluded that "little children are bothersome beings...all in all, a nuisance."

The narrative moves from the 1920s through the 1940s as girls begin to challenge older generations with their new conduct and confidence. As the United States marched off to war, births fell, then rose; and mothers took on jobs, then gave them up to be homemakers and move to the suburbs.

The second half of the 20th century brought significant changes as society experienced more war, the sexual revolution, increasing divorce rates and mothers going back to work once again. The impact of movies, television, music, books, magazines, soft porn, and urban myths altered perceptions of babysitters. For teenagers themselves, babysitting became unattractive when social and school activities increased giving them less time for jobs. Those who wished to work could earn more money elsewhere. For a time, mothers turned to middle school-age children, many as young as ten, to fill the gap. But by the end of the century, as Forman-Brunell relates, "girls with greater self-esteem, growing individualism, higher aspirations, more extracurricular activities, and new job options abandoned the field of babysitting that had been the leading form of female adolescent employment for generations."

As a babysitter myself I was struck by what I remembered and what I never knew. Many women (and men) of several generations will find Babysitter a worthwhile read. There is much to absorb, recall in our own lives, laugh at, and react to with horror.

by Diana Nolan
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
Fordg
While it's hard to believe that babysitting would be the subject of scholarly examination by a professor, "Babysitter" is just that. Forman-Brunell's book attempts a socio-cultural examination of the phenomenon that, it turns out, is no longer the province of teenage girls. Forman-Brunell tracks the beginnings of babysitting, which surprisingly began during the depths of the great depression. The word itself first came into use in 1937 to describe the new phenomenon of teenage girls watching children while parents were otherwise engaged in a range of activities. It seems strange to think that the Lindberg Kidnapping prompted a sudden concern about leaving children unattended, but oftentimes events such as that spark a sudden cultural change. As more women were entering the workforce, the use of servants decreased, and the extended family living under one roof became less common there arose a need for someone outside of the family to tend to childrens needs. Enter the babysitter; the trusted neighbor or friend outside of the family to fill that void. The lack of ability to pay adult wages necessitated that teenagers fill that need, and considering they lacked employable skills and needed money supply met demand.

Babysitting by its very nature has been a largely unregulated part of the labor market and the unevenness of the caretakers ability and the high demands of the parents could sometimes result in severe inequities and led to considerable angst with both parties. Forman-Brunell explores the cultural complaints and depictions of teenage babysitters as hormone crazed eating machines wreaking havoc to the more nuanced view of them as budding entrepreneurs. It's hard to imagine their being enough original source material for Forman-Brunell to mine for such a book, but she does so with zeal and digs up very interesting facts and her writing is quite crisp and readable. There is scarcely a family in the U.S. who hasn't been touched by babysitting phenomenon; either working as babysitters, having been watched by babysitters, or having employed them, as Forman-Brunell has. Sadly, this is a phenomenon that no longer is the realm of the teenage girls, as she points out. Nowadays teenage girls are more interested in sports and other activities including jobs that pay far better with better working conditions. In many instances parents have opted to dispense with a babysitter or are hiring more capable adults to perform the service. In that respect "Babysitter" may be a time capsule of an are of American History that is passing from the scene.
Babysitter: An American History ebook
Author:
Miriam Forman-Brunell
Category:
Historical
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1336 kb
FB2 size:
1457 kb
DJVU size:
1372 kb
Language:
Publisher:
NYU Press (December 1, 2011)
Pages:
336 pages
Rating:
4.7
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