“States of Childhood is a fascinating contribution to the history of childhood that makes us rethink young people’s role in the modern state. Throughout, Light’s focus on dramaturgy, simulation, and performance in the model worlds of junior republics offers a brilliant perspective that will interest scholars in the humanities and social sciences alike.”
– Lynn Spigel, Frances Willard Professor of Screen Cultures, Northwestern University
“As we contemplate the pedagogical applications of virtual reality and the worldbuilding potential of generative models, Jennifer Light calls our attention to the ‘junior republics’ of the last century, where youth practiced being adults and served as a supplemental labor force for their municipalities. In this characteristically meticulous study, Light offers a fascinating genealogy of roleplaying and town planning.”
– Shannon Mattern, Professor of Anthropology, The New School
Introduction: Child Protection or Child Labor?
Part I: Performing Adulthood
Chapter 1: The Smallest Republic in the World
Chapter 2: Stages of Childhood
Part II: The Rhetoric and Reality of Child Protection
Chapter 3: Constructing Youth, Constructing Youth-Serving Institutions
Chapter 4: The Drama of the Street
Part III: From Models and Dramatizations to Education and Recreation
Chapter 5: Serving Community and Nation
Chapter 6: Expanding and Erasing the Republic Idea
Conclusion: The Legacies of William R. George
Epilogue: What Happened to Junior Republics?